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The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China
This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were influenced by Professor Stephen F. Cohen whom I really admire and follow.
Russophobia is not actually only about Russia and not only a modern politically correct version of anti-Semitism practiced by the USA neoliberal elite. It is also form of social control of US population and suppression of dissent, which can be frames as "Russian agents" in best McCarthyism traditions (NeoMcCartyism ).
Its essence is scapegoating of the particular nations/ethnicity and as such it is very similar, almost identical in sprit to anti-Semitism (I just replaced terms in Wikipedia definition of Antisemitism ):
Russophobia is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Russians A person who holds such positions is called an Russophobe. Russophobia is generally considered to be a form of racism. It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.
Russophobia may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Russians...
Here is another "adapted" definition (from The UK s Labour Party and Its Anti-Semitism Crisis) The definition states:
"Russophobia is a certain perception of Russians, which may be expressed as hatred toward Russians. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of Russophobia are directed toward Russian or non-Russian individuals and/or their property, toward Russian community institutions and religious facilities."
The uncontroversial "illustrations" of Russophobia:
- Advocating the killing or harming of Russians for ideological or religious reasons;
- Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Russians as such;
- Holding Russians as a people responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Russian person or group;
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic Russophobia (e.g., equating Russians with Soviets);
- Holding Russians collectively responsible for actions of the Russian state or the USSR;
Scapegoating is an important part of Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda. Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and was evoked as a defensive tool when the neoliberal elite experienced the loss of legitimacy as happened in 2016.
The recent example of Russophobia in the USA was neo-McCarthyism campaign which was nicknamed "Russiagate", which represents classic gaslighting of the population strategy. A common tactic used to promote the Russiagate narrative was unnamed officials making statements to the press without providing evidence or any factual basis to their claims. Another common tactic was frequent media appearances by former intelligence officials, like James Clapper and John Brennan, usually making wild accusations about Trump and Russia. These tactics are being repeated to promote an anti-China narrative.
The loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite which resulted in political fiasco of the establishments candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- is why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream with all major neoliberal MSM promoting it with the level of coordination that might cause some envy of stalwarts of Bolsheviks press.
Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in 70th. It's like boy who cried wolf: people just stop trust neoliberal media and this process already started in 2019 with Rachel MadCow being one of the first victim: she lost half a million viewers (may be temporary, as she is a talented demagogue, but still).
The current crisis of neoliberalism and discreditation of neoliberal ideology (2008 and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) created conditions in which reinventing "Red Scare" again became important, as a tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population and crushing the dissent.
It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome. USA elite inherited it from British elite. In this sense the current US neoliberal empire can be called the Western British Empire (the term which creates several interesting historical analogies, including its possible length of existence ;-)
American neoliberal elite like the British elite before now badly need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophobia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent. Another goal is to prevent the alliance of Germany and Russia -- which was the goal of British foreign policy for two centuries.
The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world. And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of US population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. Like with Voice Amercan int he past, it is not necessary to buy Russian propaganda to see where neoliberal MSM completely distort the world event and hide important information. For those purposes RT can serve perfectly well.
In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would also consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing anti-Semitism. Kind of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct) nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.
There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations). Now they probably might understand better what it means to be the target of anti-Semitism. As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):
"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."
While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of a complete vassal of the USA, the role that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR. And the role which was temporary Russia performed under drunk Yeltsin.
In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order -- the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to global "neoliberal project" -- neoliberal World Revolution (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.
Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as
and other similar cliché that clearly remind cliché used by German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory as well as WikiLeaks depiction of the USA war crimes.
The hatred of Russia now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM. How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries:
The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public’s “antipathy toward Russia” as the “most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad.”
The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite—and was off base, anyway, since Britain’s foreign policy was actually “more provocative than Russia’s” in this period. Others concur. “The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,”
While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):
The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites
Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.
In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).
In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.
It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.
... ... ...
Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.
US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.
First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.
In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.
Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.
In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.
And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.
Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War
If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.
There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!
... ... ...
On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?
It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.
So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".
In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.
In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.
It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.
During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonably and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation.
Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation. Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen by the CIA in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia. But those were exception, rather then the rule. Probably the memory of the WWII and the level of cooperation of two countries in this war as allies still played some role in such restrain.
But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power. This new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour.
This adventurism backfired. This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). they failed to utilize pro-USA fe4elings of the Russian population after the dissolution of the USA. Should the USA adopt the Marshall plan for Russia those feelings would be preserved. But the Clinton administration decided to loot Russia and concert it into a vassal state. That was a strategic mistake, although looting succeeded on a really grand stale (several trillions were stolen) with the help of Harvard mafia and Russian compradors. The instituted shock therapy for the Russian economics which plunged it into depression which was worse thatn the one which was coursed by the Germany aggression in WWII. Many important enterprises went bankrupts, other were bought by foreign investors for pennies on the dollar (Browder was one notable example of this "looting gang" that descended on Russia at the time; Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky and other Jewish oligarchs were another important players in this looting)
Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy) and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban.
Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstained in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died"). Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 just to balance the state budget).
It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.
But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise. And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy, which was dutifully continued by Trump administration (actually the USA foreign policy does not depend of who is in power as the President and who is the Secretary of State; it is controlled by the Deep State -- forces outside elected executive branch and which consist of MIC, intelligence agencies and the Wall Street (financial oligarchy) as well as created by then think tanks such and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)).
Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. Gorbachov is generally considered in Russia as a traitor of the nation. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).
But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative. After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated and "Athlantists" group enough Russian neoliberal elite lost a lot of influence and became politically ostracized. . In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years. That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends.
But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the US domination. That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA. This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite. This view only became stronger under Trump administration.
I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer" strategy of British Empire, might be a geopolitical mistake despite short term dividends this action brought to the USA geopolitical position in the region. It also increase the changes of WWIII, which definitely would mean end of the USA as the global empire and probably as a country (the same is true for Russia -- both countries will be completely devastated)
Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.
That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.
This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.
The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat". Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.
My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment). I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).
Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR. Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.
But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:
Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.
Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.
The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.
In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.
What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.
First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.
Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.
If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.
My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile
As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I’m a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.
However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).
I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:
- Their journalists tend to obfuscate facts and concrete numbers with rumors and assumptions;
- they share their biases with those of the liberal opposition who are their most frequent interlocutors, and reflect an ignorance of the broad ideological diversity across Russian politics and media;
- and they frequently condemn Russia for things that just as prevalent or even more so in countries considered Western and democratic.
This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it’s the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.
...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.
Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.
|The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.|
Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.
Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.
It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.
Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.
Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):
In any case, our taste for a country—favorable or unfavorable—shouldn’t dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today’s heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America’s most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.
So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end—if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program—is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia—on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators—will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.
And the “Russia Is Doomed” syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.
The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.
The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.
From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.
From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.
It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:
"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution
Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.
The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.
As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com
Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).
We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.
See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information
Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.
It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture
I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.
I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).
For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.
In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).
There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.
This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.
|"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.|
Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.
kievite:April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pmmarknesop
This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :
"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "
First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That’s the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.
So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev’s actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.
In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit’ druzhno" (Let’s be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.
Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.
And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What’s the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.kievite
Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia’s official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.April 14, 2011 at 1:21 ammarknesop
Very true. Thanks for the response.
You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can’t abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That’s a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.
At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.
Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That’s where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it’s not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.
The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am
Yes, you’re right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It’s funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it’s Russia that’s held up as the consummate corporate raider.
I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There’s no reason foreign companies shouldn’t have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We’ll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.
It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".
Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):
2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica
Danos tu opinión
Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.
Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo
For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar
The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)
- Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
- Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
- By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
- The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the “anglo” reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the “zionist” reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term “zionist” referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
- The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
- The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
- In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
- If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
- Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
- Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
- All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
- In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don’t want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
- The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people’s of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
- If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world’s “left” – or whatever remains of it — would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
- A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
- Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
- The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.
The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.
- The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
- The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
- The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
- Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
- The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
- Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
- Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
- The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
- The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
- Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
- The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
- Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
- The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
- The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
- The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
- Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
- The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
- While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
- The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality.”
The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One
Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).
Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.
Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.
And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.
It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.
No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.
See Demonization of Putin for more details.
Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).
Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov
A Dispassionate View on Russophobia
Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.
Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.
What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.
We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.
Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.
However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.
When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.
By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.
Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.
Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.
In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .
Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!
Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.
At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.
However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.
In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.
Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.
The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.
And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.
The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of "prisoners of conscience" was created from academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.
The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.
To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):
1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.
This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as
During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:
Background of propaganda attacks against Russia
...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".
This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."
Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.
"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine—all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."
...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....
Summary of chapters
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul’s analysis. Introduction
Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.
"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace." Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda
Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology." 1.Part One: External Characteristics
Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life. The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen’s entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual’s capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization. Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.
"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's
aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual’s indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda’s grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.
The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"
These currents reinforce socieand hold man’s mjor convictions and propa
Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:
Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people. There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.
Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.
Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members’ behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life." This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual’s way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don’t are bad.
Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.
Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:
Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.
Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda
The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions
Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.
"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda’s intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."
"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda
All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity
The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual’s Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual’s part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda
The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas." The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda’s ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual’s personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects
"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him." 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology
An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity. 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.
"The Lonely Crowd"
The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.
In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.
Fundamental currents in society
"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody." While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."
While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."
Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members’ behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life." This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best.
See also  Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality
British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real placeTremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.
After 2008 neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection.
And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.
Sanctions, as damaging as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get. See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):
"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."
So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.
Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."
Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.
Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.
So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.
The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
Jul 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The immediate response to a story that U.S. forces were being targeted is to keep fighting a losing conflict.
Barbara Boland reported yesterday on the House Armed Services Committee's vote to impede withdrawal of U.S. from Afghanistan:
The House Armed Services Committee voted Wednesday night to put roadblocks on President Donald Trump's vow to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, apparently in response to bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday that alleges Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops.
It speaks volumes about Congress' abdication of its responsibilities that one of the few times that most members want to challenge the president over a war is when they think he might bring it to an end. Many of the members that want to block withdrawals from other countries have no problem when the president wants to use U.S. forces illegally and to keep them in other countries without authorization for years at a time. The role of hard-liner Liz Cheney in pushing the measure passed yesterday is a good example of what I mean. The hawkish outrage in Congress is only triggered when the president entertains the possibility of taking troops out of harm's way. When he takes reckless and illegal action that puts them at risk, as he did when he ordered the illegal assassination of Soleimani, the same members that are crying foul today applauded the action. As Boland explains, the amendment passed by the committee yesterday sets so many conditions on withdrawal that it makes it all but impossible to satisfy them:
Crow's amendment adds several layers of policy goals to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, which has already stretched on for 19 years and cost over a trillion dollars. As made clear in the Afghanistan Papers, most of these policy goals were never the original intention of the mission in Afghanistan, and were haphazardly added after the defeat of al Qaeda. With no clear vision for what achieving these fuzzy goals would look like, the mission stretches on indefinitely, an unarticulated victory unachievable.
The immediate Congressional response to a story that U.S. forces were being targeted is to make it much more difficult to pull them out of a war that cannot be won. Congressional hawks bemoan "micromanaging" presidential decisions and mock the idea of having "535 commanders-in-chief," but when it comes to prolonging pointless wars they are only too happy to meddle and tie the president's hands. When it comes to defending Congress' proper role in matters of war, these members are typically on the other side of the argument. They are content to let the president get us into as many wars as he might want, but they are horrified at the thought that any of those wars might one day be concluded. Yesterday's vote confirmed that there is an endless war caucus in the House, and it is bipartisan.
The original reporting of the bounty story is questionable for the reasons that Boland has pointed out before, but for the sake of argument let's assume that Russia has been offering bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. When the U.S. keeps its troops at war in a country for almost twenty years, it is setting them up as targets for other governments. Just as the U.S. has armed and supported forces hostile to Russia and its clients in Syria, it should not come as a shock when they do to the same elsewhere. If Russia has been doing this, refusing to withdraw U.S. forces ensures that they will continue to have someone that they can target.
The longer that the U.S. stays at war in Afghanistan, the more incentives other states will have to make that continued presence more costly for the U.S. When the knee-jerk reaction in Washington to news of these bounties is to throw up obstacles to withdrawal, that gives other states another incentive to do more of this.
Because the current state of debate about Russia is so toxic and irrational, our political leaders seem incapable of responding carefully to Russian actions. It doesn't seem to occur to the war hawks that Russia might prefer that the U.S. remains preoccupied and tied down in Afghanistan indefinitely.
Prolonging our involvement in the war amounts to playing into Moscow's hands. For all of their posturing about security and strength, hard-liners routinely support destructive and irrational policies that redound to the advantage of other states. This is still happening with the war in Afghanistan, and if these hard-liners get their way it will continue happening for many years to come.
Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog . He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter .email
kouroi • a day ago
Fran Macadam • a day ago
One needs to mention the democratic deficit in the US. All the members voting yes are representatives, they represent the people in their constituencies, and presumably vote for what the majority in those constituencies would want, or past promises.
Any poll shows that Americans would rather have the troops brought back home, thank you very much. But this is not what their representatives are voting for. Talk about democracy!
chris chuba • a day ago
For elite war profiteers and the politicians they own, the only war that is lost is one that ends. No lives matter.
kouroi chris chuba • a day ago
And what's the logic, if you make an accusation against someone you don't like it must be true. Okay well then let's drone strike Putin. If you are going to be Exceptional and consistent, Putin did everything Soleimani did so how can Liz Cotton argue for a different punishment?
1. Killed U.S. troops in a war zone, 2. planning attacks on U.S. troops.
The entire Russian military plans for attacks all the time just like ours does but the Neocons have declared that we are the only ones allowed to do that. Verdict, death penalty for Putin.
William Toffan chris chuba • 21 hours ago
If you have watched Oliver Stone's interview with Putin, it comes through that in fact there were at least three or four attempts to Putin's life...
RBH • 15 hours ago
Death penalty for Putin = Death Penalty for continental USA.
Lavinia • 10 hours ago • edited
So you can get into a war without Congressional approval, but you can't get out of one without Congressional approval. Gotcha.
wynn • an hour ago • edited
Interesting, well reasoned article as usual from Mr. Larison. However, I have to say that I don't see why Russia would want the US in Afghanistan indefinitely. In primis, they have a strategic partnership with China (even though we've got to see how Russia will behave now when there is the India-China rift), and China has been championing the idea of rebuilding the Silk Road (brilliant idea if you ask me) so in this sense it's more reasonable to assume that they might be aiming to get stability in the region rather than keep it in a state of unrest (as to be strategic partners you need to have some kind of common strategy, or at least not a completely different strategy). In 2018 they (Russia) actually were trying to organise a mediation process which would have the Afghan Gvt. and the Talibans discuss before the US would retire the troops, and it was very significative as they managed to get all the parties sitting around a table for the very first time (even the US participated as an observer).
Secondly, Russia also has pretty decent relations with Iran (at least according to Iranian press, which seems to be realistic as Russia is compliant to the JCPOA, is not aggressive towards them, and they're cooperating in the Astana process for a political solution for Syria, for example), and it wouldn't be so if Russia would pursue a policy which would aim to keep the US in the Middle East indefinitely, as Iran's WHOLE point is that they want the US out of the region, so if Russia would be trying to keep the US in the Middle East indefinitely, that would seriously upset Iran.
Thirdly, Russia is one of the founders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which now includes most of the states in Central Asia, China, India and Pakistan. The association never made overt statements about their stance on the US's presence in the region; yet they've been hinting that they don't approve of it, which is reasonable, as it is very likely that those countries would all have different plans for the region, which might include some consideration for human and economic development rather than constant and never-ending militarisation (of course Pakistan would be problematic here, as the funds for the Afghan warlords get channeled through Pakistan, which receives a lot of US money, so I don't know how they're managing this issue).
Last but not least, I cannot logically believe that the Talibans, who've been coherent in their message since the late 70's ("we will fight to the death until the invaders are defeated and out of our national soil") would now need to be "convinced" by the Russians to defeat and chase out the invader. This is just NOT believable at all. Afghanistan is called the Graveyard of Empires for a reason, I would argue.
In any case I am pleased to see that at TAC you have been starting debunking the Russia-narrative, as it is very problematic - most media just systematically misrepresents Russia in order to justify aggressive military action (Europe, specifically Northern Europe, is doing this literally CONSTANTLY, I'm so over it, really). The misrepresentation of Russia as an aggressive wannabe-empire is a cornerstone of the pro-war narrative, so it is imperative to get some actual realism into that.
Blood Alcohol wynn • an hour ago
As if the Afghan freedom fighters need additional incentive to eliminate the invaders? In case Amerikans don't know, Afghans, except those on the US payroll, intensely despise Amerika and its 'godless' ways. Amerikans forces have been sadistic, bombing Afghan weddings, funerals, etc.
Even if the Russians are providing bounties to the Afghans, to take out the invaders, don't the Amerikans remember the 80s when Washington (rightfully) supported the mujahedin with funds, arms, Stinger missiles, etc.? Again, the US is on shaky ground because of the neocons.
Afghanistan is known through the ages to be the graveyard of empires. They have done it on their own shedding blood, sweat, and tears. Also, the Afghan resistance have been principled about Amerikans getting out before making deals.
Same argument goes for the Iraqi people.
Jun 29, 2020 | www.mintpressnews.com
By MintPress News Desk
T he perpetual occupation of Afghanistan has become so normalized that it mostly serves as background noise to most Americans. It's even jokingly referred to as the "Forever War," accepted as just another constant reality. A soldier dies now and again, a couple of dozen civilians get killed in another bombing. It's never enough to stir the population to pressure Washington enough to stop it. And the endless war drags on.
From George W. Bush to Barack Obama, to Donald Trump, every U.S. president has promised to end the war. But their plans to bring the troops home inevitably require first sending more troops to the country. You can't look at all this rhetoric and reality and not conclude that the United States wants to stay in Afghanistan forever. And there is a reason, despite an unresolvable military quagmire, that the Empire won't let go of Afghanistan.
In this latest "Empire Files" documentary, journalist Abby Martin covers reveals the reality of America's Wars in Afghanistan, from the CIA construct of the 1980s through today's senseless stalemate. MintPress brings you documentary in its entirety, published with permission from filmmaker Abby Martin.
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Ashino , Jul 3 2020 11:20 utc | 129
The Russian Constitution Was Projected Onto the US Embassy Building in Moscow
The organisers projected an image of the cover of the Russian Constitution against the background of Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, and the inscription "1993. It was yours " Then there is an image of the Russian people and the message "2020. It will be ours!", followed by a call to come to vote, was projected on the building of the US Embassy. The light projection was organised by the art group "Re:Venge".
Ha, I really like this one ! Would have loved to watch 'das dumme Gesicht' (something like >>stupid face<< but stronger. like the Germans say) of the latest Trump's edition of silly ambassadors, lol !!!
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jul 2 2020 16:33 utc | 10Just a note about Russia's vote. This falls under the heading of "Pragmatic": Russia's Constitution now provides a guarantee that the minimum wage will not be lower than the basic cost of living. I know millions within the Outlaw US Empire would greatly desire such an Act to "promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity;" but such an Act would be 100% against the ethos of Neoliberalism and thus unthinkable. Now we know why Moose and Squirrel are constantly barraged with "Bad Russia" bologna. So yes, today's Barbarians are most certainly Neculturny and speak English.
vk , Jul 2 2020 17:37 utc | 23Russia faced unprecedented opposition [cyber attacks] to constitutional amendment vote, says speaker
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Jul 3 2020 16:01 utc | 158
@ Posted by: bevin | Jul 3 2020 15:36 utc | 154
A curiosity about Turkey during WWII was its decisive, albeit indirect, role in the Battle of Stalingrad.
Turkey was neutral in WWII, but made it clear its allegiance was for sale. During the early exploits by the Afrikakorps in North Africa, the Islamic nations of the region quickly sided with the Nazis. By Stalingrad, Turkey was on the verge of being a Nazi ally, as it was more or less clear they would be soon the lords of the Caucasus. Either way, unconditional Turkish support for Germany was directly conditioned to a German absolute victory in Southwestern USSR, in which Stalingrad was the biggest and most strategic metropolis.
It is suspected that Hitler's anxiety with taking Stalingrad had very much to do with striking an alliance with Turkey, which was waiting to see to side with the winning side (which is very typical of neutral sides). That may have been the main factor that impelled Hitler to decide to keep the 6th Army inside the city - not Göring's alleged blunder, as many Anglo-Saxon historians like to tell us.
The necessity of Turkey to destroy the USSR is very obvious, as it was needed to cut it off from the Black Sea and consolidate the Caucasus.
Yes, oil was one of the major factors in WWII (not WWI). But only in drawing the sides, not in causing the war itself. At the end of the day, the USA calculated that it was better to ally with the USSR to give a more comfortable victory against two oil starved empires (Germany and Japan) than risk a proto-MAD, endless war of self-destruction by allying with the Nazis and the Japanese against the USSR.
The bet paid off, as the USSR lost 35% of its GDP and one seventh of its population either way, so it always had the upper hand in the Cold War, which it also won comfortably due to that initial advantage.
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Christian J. Chuba , Jul 3 2020 16:13 utc | 162
VK, re: Russia's grip on Europe is gradually tightening from the U.K.'s INDEPENDENT
It's behind a paywall but I read just enough to be curious as to how someone could possibly justify a clickbait title like that.
I suspect that the rest of the article is just going to recap Russia's alleged sins in order to fan hatred but how can someone objectively say that Russia is tightening its grip on Europe?
- FUCKUS banned Russia from the Olympics on a bogus state sponsored steroid scam, no reinstatement on horizon.
- FUCKUS kicked Russia out of the now G7 and imposed a trade embargo that destroyed a large commercial relationship w/Germany.
What is the 'overwhelming' evidence that the Russians poisoned the Skripal's, Novichok can be made by just about anyone.
Some countries like Italy (maybe Germany) are warming to Russia a little bit but Russia has a long way to go just to get back to their pre-2014 status with Europe. That is 'tightening their grip?'. I know, this is how propagandists speak.
Jul 02, 2020 | libertarianinstitute.org
It's been nearly four years since the myth of Trump-Russia collusion made its debut in American politics, generating an endless stream of stories in the corporate press and hundreds of allegations of conspiracy from pundits and officials. But despite netting scores of embarrassing admissions, corrections, editor's notes and retractions in that time, the theory refuses to die.
Over the years, the highly elaborate "Russiagate" narrative has fallen away piece-by-piece. Claims about Donald Trump's various back channels to Moscow -- Carter Page , George Papadopoulos , Michael Flynn , Paul Manafort , Alfa Bank -- have each been thoroughly discredited. House Intelligence Committee transcripts released in May have revealed that nobody who asserted a Russian hack on Democratic computers, including the DNC's own cyber security firm , is able to produce evidence that it happened. In fact, it is now clear the entire investigation into the Trump campaign was without basis .
It was alleged that Moscow manipulated the president with " kompromat " and black mail, sold to the public in a " dossier " compiled by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele. Working through a DC consulting firm , Steele was hired by Democrats to dig up dirt on Trump, gathering a litany of accusations that Steele's own primary source would later dismiss as "hearsay" and "rumor." Though the FBI was aware the dossier was little more than sloppy opposition research, the bureau nonetheless used it to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.
Even the claim that Russia helped Trump from afar, without direct coordination, has fallen flat on its face. The " troll farm " allegedly tapped by the Kremlin to wage a pro-Trump meme war -- the Internet Research Agency -- spent only $46,000 on Facebook ads, or around 0.05 percent of the $81 million budget of the Trump and Clinton campaigns. The vast majority of the IRA's ads had nothing to do with U.S. politics, and more than half of those that did were published after the election, having no impact on voters. The Department of Justice, moreover, has dropped its charges against the IRA's parent company, abandoning a major case resulting from Robert Mueller's special counsel probe.
Though few of its most diehard proponents would ever admit it, after four long years, the foundation of the Trump-Russia narrative has finally given way and its edifice has crumbled. The wreckage left behind will remain for some time to come, however, kicking off a new era of mainstream McCarthyism and setting the stage for the next Cold War.It Didn't Start With Trump
The importance of Russiagate to U.S. foreign policy cannot be understated, but the road to hostilities with Moscow stretches far beyond the current administration. For thirty years, the United States has exploited its de facto victory in the first Cold War, interfering in Russian elections in the 1990s, aiding oligarchs as they looted the country into poverty, and orchestrating Color Revolutions in former Soviet states. NATO, meanwhile, has been enlarged up to Russia's border, despite American assurances the alliance wouldn't expand " one inch " eastward after the collapse of the USSR.
Unquestionably, from the fall of the Berlin Wall until the day Trump took office, the United States maintained an aggressive policy toward Moscow. But with the USSR wiped off the map and communism defeated for good, a sufficient pretext to rally the American public into another Cold War has been missing in the post-Soviet era. In the same 30-year period, moreover, Washington has pursued one disastrous diversion after another in the Middle East, leaving little space or interest for another round of brinkmanship with the Russians, who were relegated to little more than a talking point. That, however, has changed.The Crisis They Needed
The Washington foreign policy establishment -- memorably dubbed " the Blob " by one Obama adviser -- was thrown into disarray by Trump's election win in the fall of 2016. In some ways, Trump stood out as the dove during the race, deeming "endless wars" in the Middle East a scam, calling for closer ties with Russia, and even questioning the usefulness of NATO. Sincere or not, Trump's campaign vows shocked the Beltway think tankers, journalists, and politicos whose worldviews (and salaries) rely on the maintenance of empire. Something had to be done.
In the summer of 2016, WikiLeaks published thousands of emails belonging to then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, her campaign manager, and the Democratic National Committee. Though damaging to Clinton, the leak became fodder for a powerful new attack on the president-to-be. Trump had worked in league with Moscow to throw the election, the story went, and the embarrassing email trove was stolen in a Russian hack, then passed to WikiLeaks to propel Trump's campaign.
By the time Trump took office, the narrative was in full swing. Pundits and politicians rushed to outdo one another in hysterically denouncing the supposed election-meddling, which was deemed the "political equivalent" of the 9/11 attacks , tantamount to Pearl Harbor , and akin to the Nazis' 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom. In lock-step with the U.S. intelligence community -- which soon issued a pair of reports endorsing the Russian hacking story -- the Blob quickly joined the cause, hoping to short-circuit any tinkering with NATO or rapprochement with Moscow under Trump.
The allegations soon broadened well beyond hacking. Russia had now waged war on American democracy itself, and "sowed discord" with misinformation online, all in direct collusion with the Trump campaign. Talking heads on cable news and former intelligence officials -- some of them playing both roles at once -- weaved a dramatic plot of conspiracy out of countless news reports, clinging to many of the "bombshell" stories long after their key claims were blown up .
A large segment of American society eagerly bought the fiction, refusing to believe that Trump, the game show host, could have defeated Clinton without assistance from a foreign power. For the first time since the fall of the USSR, rank-and-file Democrats and moderate progressives were aligned with some of the most vocal Russia hawks across the aisle, creating space for what many have called a " new Cold War. "Stress Fractures
Under immense pressure and nonstop allegations, the candidate who shouted "America First" and slammed NATO as " obsolete " quickly adapted himself to the foreign policy consensus on the alliance, one of the first signs the Trump-Russia story was bearing fruit.
Demonstrating the Blob in action, during debate on the Senate floor over Montenegro's bid to join NATO in March 2017, the hawkish John McCain castigated Rand Paul for daring to oppose the measure, riding on anti-Russian sentiments stoked during the election to accuse him of "working for Vladimir Putin." With most lawmakers agreeing the expansion of NATO was needed to "push back" against Russia, the Senate approved the request nearly unanimously and Trump signed it without batting an eye -- perhaps seeing the attacks a veto would bring, even from his own party.
Allowing Montenegro -- a country that illustrates everything wrong with NATO -- to join the alliance may suggest Trump's criticisms were always empty talk, but the establishment's drive to constrain his foreign policy was undoubtedly having an effect. Just a few months later, the administration would put out its National Security Strategy , stressing the need to refocus U.S. military engagements from counter-terrorism in the Middle East to "great power competition" with Russia and China.
On another aspiring NATO member, Ukraine, the president was also hectored into reversing course under pressure from the Blob. During the 2016 race, the corporate press savaged the Trump campaign for working behind the scenes to " water down " the Republican Party platform after it opposed a pledge to arm Ukraine's post-coup government. That stance did not last long.
Though even Obama decided against arming the new government -- which his administration helped to install -- Trump reversed that move in late 2017, handing Kiev hundreds of Javelin anti-tank missiles. In an irony noticed by few , some of the arms went to open neo-Nazis in the Ukrainian military, who were integrated into the country's National Guard after leading street battles with security forces in the Obama-backed coup of 2014. Some of the very same Beltway critics slamming the president as a racist demanded he pass weapons to out-and-out white supremacists.
Ukraine's bid to join NATO has all but stalled under President Volodymyr Zelensky, but the country has nonetheless played an outsized role in American politics both before and after Trump took office. In the wake of Ukraine's 2014 U.S.-sponsored coup, "Russian aggression" became a favorite slogan in the American press, laying the ground for future allegations of election-meddling.Weaponizing Ukraine
The drive for renewed hostilities with Moscow got underway well before Trump took the Oval Office, nurtured in its early stages under the Obama administration. Using Ukraine's revolution as a springboard, Obama launched a major rhetorical and policy offensive against Russia, casting it in the role of an aggressive , expansionist power.
Protests erupted in Ukraine in late 2013, following President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign an association agreement with the European Union, preferring to keep closer ties with Russia. Demanding a deal with the EU and an end to government corruption, demonstrators -- including the above-mentioned neo-Nazis -- were soon in the streets clashing with security forces. Yanukovych was chased out of the country, and eventually out of power.
Through cut-out organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy, the Obama administration poured millions of dollars into the Ukrainian opposition prior to the coup, training, organizing and funding activists. Dubbed the "Euromaidan Revolution," Yanukovych's ouster mirrored similar US-backed color coups before and since, with Uncle Sam riding on the back of legitimate grievances while positioning the most U.S.-friendly figures to take power afterward.
The coup set off serious unrest in Ukraine's Russian-speaking enclaves, the eastern Donbass region and the Crimean Peninsula to the south. In the Donbass, secessionist forces attempted their own revolution, prompting the new government in Kiev to launch a bloody "war on terror" that continues to this day. Though the separatists received some level of support from Moscow, Washington placed sole blame on the Russians for Ukraine's unrest, while the press breathlessly predicted an all-out invasion that never materialized.
In Crimea -- where Moscow has kept its Black Sea Fleet since the late 1700s -- Russia took a more forceful stance, seizing the territory to keep control of its long term naval base. The annexation was accomplished without bloodshed, and a referendum was held weeks later affirming that a large majority of Crimeans supported rejoining Russia, a sentiment western polling firms have since corroborated . Regardless, as in the Donbass, the move was labeled an invasion, eventually triggering a raft of sanctions from the U.S. and the EU (and more recently, from Trump himself ).
The media made no effort to see Russia's perspective on Crimea in the wake of the revolution -- imagining the U.S. response if the roles were reversed, for example -- and all but ignored the preferences of Crimeans. Instead, it spun a black-and-white story of "Russian aggression" in Ukraine. For the Blob, Moscow's actions there put Vladimir Putin on par with Adolf Hitler, driving a flood of frenzied press coverage not seen again until the 2016 election.Succumbing to Hysteria
While Trump had already begun to cave to the onslaught of Russiagate in the early months of his presidency, a July 2018 meeting with Putin in Helsinki presented an opportunity to reverse course, offering a venue to hash out differences and plan for future cooperation. Trump's previous sit-downs with his Russian counterpart were largely uneventful, but widely portrayed as a meeting between master and puppet. At the Helsinki Summit, however, a meager gesture toward improved relations was met with a new level of hysterics.
Trump's refusal to interrogate Putin on his supposed election-hacking during a summit press conference was taken as irrefutable proof that the two were conspiring together. Former CIA Director John Brennan declared it an act of treason , while CNN gravely contemplated whether Putin's gift to Trump during the meetings -- a World Cup soccer ball -- was really a secret spying transmitter. By this point, Robert Mueller's special counsel probe was in full effect, lending official credibility to the collusion story and further emboldening the claims of conspiracy.
Though the summit did little to strengthen U.S.-Russia ties and Trump made no real effort to do so -- beyond resisting the calls to directly confront Putin -- it brought on some of the most extreme attacks yet, further ratcheting up the cost of rapprochement. The window of opportunity presented in Helsinki, while only cracked to begin with, was now firmly shut, with Trump as reluctant as ever to make good on his original policy platform.Sanctions!
After taking a beating in Helsinki, the administration allowed tensions with Moscow to soar to new heights, more or less embracing the Blob's favored policies and often even outdoing the Obama government's hawkishness toward Russia in both rhetoric and action.
In March 2018, the poisoning of a former Russian spy living in the United Kingdom was blamed on Moscow in a highly elaborate storyline that ultimately fell apart (sound familiar?), but nonetheless triggered a wave of retaliation from western governments. In the largest diplomatic purge in US history, the Trump administration expelled 60 Russian officials in a period of two days, surpassing Obama's ejection of 35 diplomats in response to the election-meddling allegations.
Along with the purge, starting in spring 2018 and continuing to this day, Washington has unleashed round after round of new sanctions on Russia, including in response to " worldwide malign activity ," to penalize alleged election-meddling , for " destabilizing cyber activities ," retaliation for the UK spy poisoning , more cyber activity , more election-meddling -- the list keeps growing.
Though Trump had called to lift rather than impose penalties on Russia before taking office, worn down by endless negative press coverage and surrounded by a coterie of hawkish advisers, he was brought around on the merits of sanctions before long, and has used them liberally ever since.Goodbye INF, RIP OST
By October 2018, Trump had largely abandoned any idea of improving the relationship with Russia and, in addition to the barrage of sanctions, began shredding a series of major treaties and arms control agreements. He started with the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which had eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons -- medium-range missiles -- and removed Europe as a theater for nuclear war.
At this point in Trump's tenure, super-hawk John Bolton had assumed the position of national security advisor, encouraging the president's worst instincts and using his newfound influence to convince Trump to ditch the INF treaty. Bolton -- who helped to detonate a number of arms control pacts in previous administrations -- argued that Russia's new short-range missile had violated the treaty. While there remains some dispute over the missile's true range and whether it actually breached the agreement, Washington failed to pursue available dispute mechanisms and ignored Russian offers for talks to resolve the spat.
After the U.S. officially scrapped the agreement, it quickly began testing formerly-banned munitions. Unlike the Russian missiles, which were only said to have a range overstepping the treaty by a few miles, the U.S. began testing nuclear-capable land-based cruise missiles expressly banned under the INF.
Next came the Open Skies Treaty (OST), an idea originally floated by President Eisenhower, but which wouldn't take shape until 1992, when an agreement was struck between NATO and former Warsaw Pact nations. The agreement now has over 30 members and allows each to arrange surveillance flights over other members' territory, an important confidence-building measure in the post-Soviet world.
Trump saw matters differently, however, and turned a minor dispute over Russia's implementation of the pact into a reason to discard it altogether, again egged on by militant advisers. In late May 2020, the president declared his intent to withdraw from the nearly 30-year-old agreement, proposing nothing to replace it.Quid Pro Quo
With the DOJ's special counsel probe into Trump-Russia collusion coming up short on both smoking-gun evidence and relevant indictments, the president's enemies began searching for new angles of attack. Following a July 2019 phone call between Trump and his newly elected Ukrainian counterpart, they soon found one.
During the call , Trump urged Zelensky to investigate a computer server he believed to be linked to Russiagate, and to look into potential corruption and nepotism on the part of former Vice President Joe Biden, who played an active role in Ukraine following the Obama-backed coup.
Less than two months later, a " whistleblower " -- a CIA officer detailed to the White House, Eric Ciaramella -- came forward with an "urgent concern" that the president had abused his office on the July call. According to his complaint , Trump threatened to withhold U.S. military aid, as well as a face-to-face meeting with Zelensky, should Kiev fail to deliver the goods on Biden, who by that point was a major contender in the 2020 race.
The same players who peddled Russiagate seized on Ciaramella's account to manufacture a whole new scandal: "Ukrainegate." Failing to squeeze an impeachment out of the Mueller probe, the Democrats did just that with the Ukraine call, insisting Trump had committed grave offenses, again conspiring with a foreign leader to meddle in a U.S. election.
At a high point during the impeachment trial, an expert called to testify by the Democrats revived George W. Bush's "fight them over there" maxim to argue for U.S. arms transfers to Ukraine, citing the Russian menace. The effort was doomed from the start, however, with a GOP-controlled Senate never likely to convict and the evidence weak for a "quid pro quo" with Zelensky. Ukrainegate, like Russiagate before it, was a failure in its stated goal, yet both served to mark the administration with claims of foreign collusion and press for more hawkish policies toward Moscow.The End of New START?
The Obama administration scored a rare diplomatic achievement with Russia in 2010, signing the New START Treaty, a continuation of the original Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty inked in the waning days of the Soviet Union. Like its first iteration, the agreement places a cap on the number of nuclear weapons and warheads deployed by each side. It featured a ten-year sunset clause, but included provisions to continue beyond its initial end date.
With the treaty set to expire in early 2021, it has become an increasingly hot topic throughout Trump's presidency. While Trump sold himself as an expert dealmaker on the campaign trail -- an artist , even -- his negotiation skills have shown lacking when it comes to working out a new deal with the Russians.
The administration has demanded that China be incorporated into any extended version of the treaty, calling on Russia to compel Beijing to the negotiating table and vastly complicating any prospect for a deal. With a nuclear arsenal around one-tenth the size of that of Russia or the U.S., China has refused to join the pact. Washington's intransigence on the issue has put the future of the treaty in limbo and largely left Russia without a negotiating partner.
A second Trump term would spell serious trouble for New START, having already shown willingness to shred the INF and Open Skies agreements. And with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) already killed under the Bush administration, New START is one of the few remaining constraints on the planet's two largest nuclear arsenals.
Despite pursuing massive escalation with Moscow from 2018 onward, Trump-Russia conspiracy allegations never stopped pouring from newspapers and TV screens. For the Blob -- heavily invested in a narrative as fruitful as it was false -- Trump would forever be "Putin's puppet," regardless of the sanctions imposed, the landmark treaties incinerated or the deluge of warlike rhetoric.Running for an Arms Race
As the Trump administration leads the country into the next Cold War, a renewed arms race is also in the making. The destruction of key arms control pacts by previous administrations has fed a proliferation powder keg, and the demise of New START could be the spark to set it off.
Following Bush Jr.'s termination of the ABM deal in 2002 -- wrecking a pact which placed limits on Russian and American missile defense systems to maintain the balance of mutually assured destruction -- Russia soon resumed funding for a number of strategic weapons projects, including its hypersonic missile. In his announcement of the new technology in 2018, Putin deemed the move a response to Washington's unilateral withdrawal from ABM, which also saw the U.S. develop new weapons .
Though he inked New START and campaigned on vows to pursue an end to the bomb, President Obama also helped to advance the arms build-up, embarking on a 30-year nuclear modernization project set to cost taxpayers $1.5 trillion. The Trump administration has embraced the initiative with open arms, even adding to it , as Moscow follows suit with upgrades to its own arsenal.
Moreover, Trump has opened a whole new battlefield with the creation of the US Space Force , escalated military deployments, ramped up war games targeting Russia and China and looked to reopen and expand Cold War-era bases.
In May, Trump's top arms control envoy promised to spend Russia and China into oblivion in the event of any future arms race, but one was already well underway. After withdrawing from INF, the administration began churning out previously banned nuclear-capable cruise missiles, while fielding an entire new class of low-yield nuclear weapons. Known as "tactical nukes," the smaller warheads lower the threshold for use, making nuclear conflict more likely. Meanwhile, the White House has also mulled a live bomb test -- America's first since 1992 -- though has apparently shelved the idea for now.A Runaway Freight Train
As Trump approaches the end of his first term, the two major U.S. political parties have become locked in a permanent cycle of escalation, eternally compelled to prove who's the bigger hawk. The president put up mild resistance during his first months in office, but the relentless drumbeat of Russiagate successfully crushed any chances for improved ties with Moscow.
The Democrats refuse to give up on "Russian aggression" and see virtually no pushback from hawks across the aisle, while intelligence "leaks" continue to flow into the imperial press, fueling a whole new round of election-meddling allegations .
Likewise, Trump's campaign vows to revamp U.S.-Russian relations are long dead. His presidency counts among its accomplishments a pile of new sanctions, dozens of expelled diplomats and the demise of two major arms control treaties. For all his talk of getting along with Putin, Trump has failed to ink a single deal, de-escalate any of the ongoing strife over Syria, Ukraine or Libya, and been unable to arrange one state visit in Moscow or DC.
Nonetheless, Trump's every action is still interpreted through the lens of Russian collusion. After announcing a troop drawdown in Germany on June 5, reducing the U.S. presence by just one-third, the president was met with the now-typical swarm of baseless charges. MSNBC regular and retired general Barry McCaffrey dubbed the move "a gift to Russia," while GOP Rep. Liz Cheney said the meager troop movement placed the "cause of freedom in peril." Top Democrats in the House and Senate introduced bills to stop the withdrawal dead in its tracks, attributing the policy to Trump's "absurd affection for Vladimir Putin, a murderous dictator."
Starting as a dirty campaign trick to explain away the Democrats' election loss and jam up the new president, Russiagate is now a key driving force in the U.S. political establishment that will long outlive the age of Trump. After nearly four years, the bipartisan consensus on the need for Cold War is stronger than ever, and will endure regardless of who takes the Oval Office next.
Jul 02, 2020 | www.unz.com
Pft , says: Show Comment July 3, 2020 at 12:02 am GMTBrowder connection timeline
Interesting history Browder has. I suspect he has a history with Putin before Putin became President , but its hard to find anything on a connection. Anyways lots of interesting connections, meaningful or not, I cant say.[Hide MORE]
1985 - bugged version of PROMIS was sold for Soviet government use, with the media mogul Robert Maxwell as a conduit.
1990 - just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Browder found himself on assignment in Poland for Boston Consulting Group. The government had begun privatizing state-owned companies and selling their shares at ridiculously low valuations.
1991 - Anatoly Sobchak, a former law professor of Putin's at Leningrad State, became mayor of Leningrad.* Sobchak hired Vladimir Putin, whom he had known when Putin worked at Leningrad State. Putin was still on active reserve with the KGB.
Putin's tenure in Sobchak's office was so rife with scandal that it led to a host of investigations into illegal assignment of licenses and contracts . Putin was head of the Committee for Foreign Liaison; collaborated with criminal gangs in regulating gambling; a money-laundering operation by the St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company, where Kumarin was involved and Putin served on the advisory board; Putin's role in providing a monopoly for the Petersburg Fuel Company, then controlled by the Tambov criminal organization; and much, much more -- virtually all of which was whitewashed. While he was in St. Petersburg in the nineties, Putin signed many hundreds of contracts doling out funds to his cronies.
1991 - November 5, Robert Maxwell, allegedly drowned after falling off his yacht in the Canary Islands near the northwest coast of Africa. Billions were missing from his pension funds
Maxwell's investment bankers included Salomon Brothers. Eventually, the pension funds were replenished with monies from investment banks Shearson Lehman and Goldman Sachs, as well as the British government.
It was March 1991 when William Browder went to work for British billionaire Robert Maxwell as his "investment manager". Just how deep into the investment decisions of Maxwell did Browder participate as an investment manager?
1991 November 10, Maxwell's funeral took place on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the resting place for the nation's most revered heroes. Prime Minister Shamir eulogized: "He has done more Israel than can today be said."
1992 - Interestingly, after Maxwell died, Bill Browder went to work for the Salomon Brothers in the middle of their own scandal. Browder was put in charge of the Russian proprietary investments desk at Salomon Brothers. He was given 25 million to invest and used it by paying cash for vouchers in Russian companies the government had issued to citizens , and used them to buy shared at public auction. In a short period he turned that into 125 million
The scandal at Salomon Brothers was the manipulation of the US Treasury auctions back then.After that scandal where the government was threatening to shut down Salomon Brothers who was the biggest bond dealer in the USA for manipulating markets, all of a sudden, people from Goldman Sachs started taking posts in government.
1996-Browder left Salomon Brothers and with Edmond Safra founded Hermitage Capital Management for the purpose of investing initial seed capital of $25 million in Russia during the period of the mass privatization after the fall of the Soviet Union. Beny Steinmetz was another of the original investors in Hermitage, the Israeli diamond billionaire.
Cyprus is a favorite place for Russian to launder money. Thats probably why Browder and his accounting advisor Jamison Firestone chose it to launder Browder's Russian profits.
Browder from about 1997 to the mid-2000s used Cyprus shell companies to move money out of Russia to cheat the country of multi-millions of dollars in taxes. He used the Russian shells to invest in shares, including Gazprom shares that were illegal for foreigners to buy in Russia, then moved the shares to Cyprus shells
1996 article entitled, "The Money Plane," published by New York Magazine detailed how the "Russian mob gets a shipment of up to a billion dollars in fresh $100 bills," Edmond Safra's bank, Republic National, was directly implicated.
Guess we know where Browder got the cash money to pay for the vouchers
1998 - If Salomon had not been merged with Travelers Group in 1997 (which owned retail brokerage, Smith Barney), no doubt Salomon Brothers would have collapsed in the 1998 Long-Term Capital Management debacle created by one of their own – Salomons John Meriwether.
Safra lost $1 billion in Russia during the 1998 Long-Term Capital Management crisis over Russian bonds and investments which was why he put his bank, Republic National Bank, up for sale to HSBC in 1999.
1999 - Following the Russian financial crisis of 1998, despite significant outflows from the fund, Hermitage became a prominent shareholder in the Russian oil and gas. It was in 1999 when VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation (Russian: ВСМПО-АВИСМА) – the world's largest titanium producer - filed a RICO lawsuit against Browder and other Avisma investors including Kenneth Dart, alleging they illegally siphoned company assets into offshore accounts and then transferred the funds to U.S. accounts at Barclays.
Browder and his co-defendants settled with Avisma in 2000; they sold their Avisma shares as part of the confidential settlement agreement.
1999 - Republican National Bank was owned by Safra . On May 11, HSBC, announced a $10.3 billion deal to purchase Edmond Safra's holdings including the Republic National Bank of New York and Safra's shares in Bill Browder's firm, Hermitage Capital. The announcement came only nine months after Russia's economy collapsed and Browder's clients, lost over $900 million. It was also nine months after $4.8 billion in IMF funds was deposited in an undisclosed account at Safra's bank and well before the public became aware that that same money was dispersed and stolen through the Bank of New York, off-shore companies, and foreign financial institutions.
HSBC then became Browders partner of the Heritage Fund . Browder's shell companies were registered in Cyprus but owned by HSBC (Guernsey) as the trustee for his Hermitage Capital Management.
Cypriot shells Glendora and Kone were part of his offshore network "owned" by an HSBC Private Bank Guernsey Ltd trust. The real owner was Browder's Hermitage Fund. Assets (stocks and money) went from Russia to Cyprus and then to parts unknown.
Republic International Trust, registered by Mossack Fonseca of Panama Papers fame and listed on the Glendora document, was in the offshore network of Republic National Bank owner Edmond Safra, an early investor who then held 51% of Hermitage Fund shares.
1999 December 3 - Safra was killed in suspicious fire that broke out in his Monte Carlo home. Although some believe that Safra was killed by the Russian mafia, Lurie reported that a Swiss prosecutor investigating the missing IMF money believed that Safra was killed "because of his revelations to the FBI and the Swiss Prosecutor's Office investigating the disappearance and laundering of $4.8 billion of the IMF stablilization loan." One of the more interesting things to note here is that the prosecutor implied that Safra not only spoke with the FBI about the missing IMF funds but with Swiss authorities as well.
Funny how Browders bosses/partners get killed
1999 - the bombings that killed nearly three hundred innocent Russians were likely the product of a "false flag" operation that enabled Putin to consolidate power.
Putin promised to stop the plundering of the Russian state by rich oligarchs. But very few Russians knew that Putin had been a primary actor in the same kind of activity in St. Petersburg. And as for cleaning up corruption, one of Putin's first acts as president was to pardon Boris Yeltsin, thereby guaranteeing immunity from prosecution to the outgoing president.-
Putin recruited two oligarchs who were among his closest confidants, Roman Abramovich and Lev Leviev, to undertake the highly unlikely mission of creating a new religious organization called the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia under the leadership of Rabbi Berel Lazar, a leader in the Hasidic movement called Chabad-Lubavitch.
Founded in the late eighteenth century, the tiny, Brooklyn-based Chabad-Lubavitcher movement is a fundamentalist Hasidic sect centered on the teaching of the late Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, who is sometimes referred to as a messiah -- moshiach -- a savior and liberator of the Jewish people. It is antiabortion, views homosexuality as a perversion, and often aligns itself politically with other fundamentalist groups on the right.
Its biggest donors included Leviev, an Israeli billionaire who was an Uzbek native and was known as the "King of Diamonds" thanks to his success in the diamond trade, and Charles Kushner, an American real estate developer who was later jailed for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. Kushner is also the father of Jared Kushner, who married Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and later became a senior adviser to President Trump. Leviev's friendship with Lazar dates back to 1992 and, according to Haaretz, made Leviev "the most influential, most active and most connected person in the Jewish community of Russia and made Lazar the country's chief rabbi."
Roman Abramovich, controlled the trading arm of one of Russia's largest oil companies through an Isle of Man company that had figured in the Bank of New York affair. Mr. Abramovich ran the Siberian oil giant Sibneft, which sold its oil through a company called Runicom.
His name emerged after speculation that Swiss investigators were looking into the role of Runicom as part of the widening investigation into the laundering of up to $15 billion of Russian money through American banks. Runicom is owned by at least two offshore companies set up by the Valmet Group, a financial services concern partly owned by Menatep, a failed Russian bank that used the Bank of New York."
2001- Salomon Brothers Building (WTC 7) collapses. Tenants include the Department of Defense, the Secret Service, the IRS, and the Securities and Exchange Commission
2005 - Steinmetz of Browders Heritage Fund teamed up with another diamond magnate, Putins buddy Lev Leviev, to purchase the top ten floors of Israel's Diamond Tower which also houses the Israeli Diamond Exchange. Haaretz.com reported that "the buyers intend to build a connector from the 10 floors – the top 10 floors of the building – to the diamond exchange itself in order to benefit from the security regime of the other offices within the exchange." And benefit they did.
According to one website reporting on a Channel 10 (Israel) news story, from 2005 – 2011, an "underground" bank was set up to provide "loans to firms using money taken from other companies while pretending it was legally buying and selling diamonds." The bank apparently washed over $100 million in illicit funds over the course of six years and both Steinmetz and Leviev were directly implicated as "customers" of the bank but Neither of them were charged in the case.
Then there's HSBC's involvement in the diamond industry and Leviev's ties not only to arms dealer Arcadi Gaydamak via Africa-Israeli Investments but Roman Abramovich and Kushner
2007 - Browders Hermitage Capital Management, was raided by Russian interior ministry officers, who confiscated stamps and documents. These were then used to file bogus tax returns to the Russian Treasury, which were paid out to bank accounts controlled by Klyuev and his associates, according to the U.S. government.
Browder claimed Organized crime carried out the tax refund fraud against the Russian Treasury under which criminals used collusive lawsuits to fake damages and get refunds of company taxes. The tax refund fraud using Browder's companies netted $230 million.
2008 - HSBC (Guersey) director Paul Wrench filed a complaint about the tax refund fraud in July on behalf of Hermitage (after Starova's complaints) .
Maginitsky was arrested for being the accountant (not a lawyer) of Browder's tax evasion schemes.
2008 - A lawsuit alleged Bayrock's projected profits were "to be laundered, untaxed through a sham Delaware entity" to the FL Group, Iceland's largest private investment fund, the first major firm to collapse in 2008 when Iceland's financial bubble burst, and a favored financial instrument for loans to Russia-connected oligarchs who were, court papers claim, in favor with Vladimir Putin. According to Bloomberg, Eva Joly, who assisted Iceland's special prosecutor in the investigation of the financial collapse, said, "There was a huge amount of money that came into these banks that wasn't entirely explained by central bank lending. Only Mafia-like groups fill a gap like that."
Another significant Bayrock partner, the Sapir Organization, had, through its principal, Tamir Sapir, a long business relationship with Semyon Kislin, the commodities trader who was tied to the Chernoy brothers and, according to the FBI, to Vyacheslav Ivankov's gang in Brighton Beach.
In addition to being wired into the Kremlin, Sapir's son-in-law, Rotem Rosen, was a supporter of Chabad along with Sater, Sapir, and others at Bayrock, and, as a result, was part of an extraordinarily powerful channel between Trump and Putin. After all, the ascent of Chabad in Russia had been part of Putin's plan to replace older Jewish institutions in Russia with corresponding organizations that were loyal to him.
The biggest contributor to Chabad in the world was Leviev, the billionaire "King of Diamonds" who had a direct line to Rabbi Berel Lazar, aka "Putin's rabbi," to Donald Trump, and to Putin himself dating back to the Russian leader's early days in St. Petersburg.
Indeed, one of the biggest contributors to Chabad of Port Washington, Long Island, was Bayrock founder Tevfik Arif, a Kazakh-born Turk with a Muslim name who was not Jewish, but nonetheless won entry into its Chai Circle as a top donor.
2013-The Hermitage Fund, an HSBC-backed vehicle that invested in Russia and became embroiled in a diplomatic war with the Kremlin over the death of one of its accountants, closes down..
2014, Vekselberg's Renova Group became a partner with Wilbur Ross in the takeover of the Bank of Cyprus, which had held billions in deposits from wealthy Russians.
Back in early 90's Trump found himself in financial trouble when his three casinos in Atlantic City were under foreclosure threat from lenders. He was bailed-out by senior managing director of N.M. Rothschild & Sons, Wilbur Ross, who Trump would later appoint as Secretary of Commerce. Ross, who is known as the "King of Bankruptcy," specializes in leveraged buyouts of distressed businesses.
Along with Blackstones Carl Icahn, Ross convinced bondholders to strike a deal with Trump that allowed Trump to keep control of the casinos.
By the mid-1990s, Ross was a prominent figure in New York Democratic Party politics and had caught the attention President Bill Clinton who appointed him to lead the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund.
2015 - Donald Trump, after emerging from a decade of litigation, multiple bankruptcies, and $ 4 billion in debt, had risen from the near-dead with the help of Bayrock and its alleged ties to Russian intelligence and the Russian Mafia. "They saved his bacon," said Kenneth McCallion, a former federal prosecutor
2015 - Kushner paid $295 million for some of the floors in the old New York Times building, purchased in 2015 from the US branch of Israeli-Russian oligarch Leviev's company, Africa Israel Investments (AFI), and partner, Five Mile Capital.
Kushner later borrowed $285 million from the German financial company Deutsche Bank, which has also been linked to Russian money laundering,
Jared and Ivanka were also close to another of Putins oligarchs, Roman Abramovich and his wife, Dasha Zhukova.
2015-While Wilbur Ross served as vice-chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, the bank's Russia-based businesses were sold to a Russian banker and consultant, Artem Avetisyan, who had ties to both the Russian president and Russia's largest bank, Sberbank. At the time, Sberbank was under US and EU sanctions following Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Avetisyan had earlier been selected by Putin to head a new business branch of the Russian president's strategic initiative agency, which was tasked with improving business and government ties.
Avetisyan's business partner, Oleg Gref, is the son of Herman Gref, Sberbank's chief executive officer, and their consultancy has served as a "partner" to Sberbank, according to their website. Ross had described the Russian businesses – including 120 bank branches in Russia – as being worth "hundreds of millions of euros" in 2014 but they were sold with other assets to Avetisyan for €7m (£6m).
Ross resigned from the Bank of Cyprus board after he was confirmed as commerce secretary in 2017
2018 - Cyprus suspended cooperation with Russia, which had been seeking assistance from the government in Moscow's alleged case of tax evasion against Hermitage Capital Founder Bill Browder.
Jul 02, 2020 | www.unz.com
William "Bill" Browder has been a figure of some prominence on the world scene for the past decade. A few months back, Der Spiegel published a major exposé on him and the case of Sergei Magnitsky but the mainstream media completely ignored this report and so aside from Germany few people are aware of Browder's background and the Magnitsky issue which resulted in sanctions on Russia.
Browder had gone to Moscow in 1996 to take advantage of the privatization of state companies by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Browder founded Hermitage Capital Management, a Moscow investment firm registered in offshore Guernsey in the Channel Islands. For a time, it was the largest foreign investor in Russian securities. Hermitage Capital Management was rated as extremely successful after earning almost 3,000 percent in its operations between 1996 and December 2007.
During the corrupt Yeltsin years, with his business partner's US $25 million, Browder amassed a fortune . Profiting from the large-scale privatizations in Russia from 1996 to 2006 his Hermitage firm eventually grew to $4.5 billion .
When Browder encountered financial difficulties with Russian authorities he portrayed himself as an anti-corruption activist and became the driving force behind the Magnitsky Act, which resulted in economic sanctions aimed at Russian officials. However, an examination of Browder's record in Russia and his testimony in court cases reveals contradictions with his statements to the public and Congress, and raises questions about his motives in attacking corruption in Russia.
Although he has claimed that he was an 'activist shareholder' and campaigned for Russian companies to adopt Western-style governance, it has been reported that he cleverly destabilized companies he was targeting for takeover. Canadian blogger Mark Chapman has revealed that after Browder would buy a minority share in a company he would resort to lawsuits against this company through shell companies he controlled. This would destabilize the company with charges of corruption and insolvency. To prevent its collapse the Russian government would intervene by injecting capital into it, causing its stock market to rise -- with the result that Browder's profits would rise exponentially.
Later, through Browder's Russian-registered subsidiaries, his accountant Magnitsky acquired extra shares in Russian gas companies such as Surgutneftegaz, Rosneft and Gazprom. This procedure enabled Browder's companies to pay the residential tax rate of 5.5% instead of the 35% that foreigners would have to pay.
However, the procedure to bypass the Russian presidential decree that banned foreign companies and citizens from purchasing equities in Gazprom was an illegal act. Because of this and other suspected transgressions, Magnitsky was interrogated in 2006 and later in 2008. Initially he was interviewed as a suspect and then as an accused. He was then arrested and charged by Russian prosecutors with two counts of aggravated tax evasion committed in conspiracy with Bill Browder in respect of Dalnyaya Step and Saturn, two of Browder's shell companies to hold shares that he bought. Unfortunately, in 2009 Magnitsky died in pre-trial detention because of a failure by prison officials to provide prompt medical assistance.
Browder has challenged this account and for years he has maintained that Magnitsky's arrest and death were a targeted act of revenge by Russian authorities against a heroic anti-corruption activist.
It's only recently that Browder's position was challenged by the European Court of Human Rights who in its ruling on August 27, 2019 concluded that Magnitsky's "arrest was not arbitrary, and that it was based on reasonable suspicion of his having committed a criminal offence." And as such "The Russians had good reason to arrest Sergei Magnitsky for Hermitage tax evasion."
"The Court observes that the inquiry into alleged tax evasion, resulting in the criminal proceedings against Mr Magnitskiy, started in 2004, long before he complained that prosecuting officials had been involved in fraudulent acts."
Prior to Magnitsky's arrest, because of what Russia considered to be questionable activities, Browder had been refused entry to Russia in 2005. However, he did not take lightly his rebuff by the post-Yeltsin Russian government under Vladimir Putin. As succinctly expressed by Professor Halyna Mokrushyna at the University of Ottawa:
[Browder] began to engage in a worldwide campaign against the Russian authorities, accusing them of corruption and violation of human rights. The death of his accountant and auditor Sergei Magnitsky while in prison became the occasion for Browder to launch an international campaign presenting the death as a ruthless silencing of an anti-corruption whistleblower. But the case of Magnitsky is anything but.
Despite Brower's claims that Magnitsky died as a result of torture and beatings, authentic documents and testimonies show that Magnitsky died because of medical neglect – he was not provided adequate treatment for a gallstone condition. It was negligence typical at that time of prison bureaucracy, not a premeditated killing. Because of the resulting investigation, many high level functionaries in the prison system were fired or demoted.
For the past ten years Browder has maintained that Magnitsky was tortured and murdered by prison guards. Without any verifiable evidence he has asserted that Magnitsky was beaten to death by eight riot guards over 1 hour and 18 minutes. This was never corroborated by anybody, including by autopsy reports. It was even denied by Magnitsky's mother in a video interview.
Nevertheless, on the basis of his questionable beliefs, he has carried on a campaign to discredit and vilify Russia and its government and leaders.
In addition to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, Browder's basic underlying beliefs and assumptions are being seriously challenged. Very recently, on May 5, 2020, an American investigative journalist, Lucy Komisar, published an article with the heading Forensic photos of Magnitsky show no marks on torso :
On Fault Lines today I revealed that I have obtained never published forensic photos of the body of Sergei Magnitsky, William Browder's accountant, that show not a mark on his torso. Browder claims he was beaten to death by prison guards. Magnitsky died at 9:30pm Nov 16, 2009, and the photos were taken the next day.
Later in her report she states:
I noted on the broadcast that though the photos and documents are solid, several dozen U.S. media – both allegedly progressive and mainstream -- have refused to publish this information. And if that McCarthyite censorship continues, the result of rampant fear-inducing Russophobia, I will publish it and the evidence on this website.
Despite evidence such as this, till this day Browder maintains that Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death with rubber batons. It's this narrative that has attracted the attention of the US Congress, members of parliament, diplomats and human rights activists. To further refute his account, a 2011 analysis by the Physicians for Human Rights International Forensics Program of documents provided by Browder found no evidence he was beaten to death.
In his writings, as supposed evidence, Browder provides links to two untranslated Russian documents. They were compiled immediately after Magnitsky died on November 16, 2009. Recent investigative research has revealed that one of these appears to be a forgery. The first document D309 states that shortly before Magnitsky's death: "Handcuffs were used in connection with the threat of committing an act of self-mutilation and suicide, and that the handcuffs were removed after thirty minutes." To further support this, a forensic review states that while in the prison hospital "Magnitsky exhibited behavior diagnosed as "acute psychosis" by Dr. A. V. Gaus at which point the doctor ordered Mr. Magnitsky to be restrained with handcuffs."
The second document D310 is identically worded to D309 except for a change in part of the preceding sentence. The sentence in D309 has the phrase " special means were" is changed in D310 to " a rubber baton was."
As such, while D309 is perfectly coherent, in D310 the reference to a rubber baton makes no sense whatsoever, given the title and text it shares with D309. This and other inconsistences, including signatures on these documents, make it apparent that D310 was copied from D309 and that D310 is a forgery. Furthermore, there is no logical reason for two almost identical reports to have been created, with only a slight difference in one sentence. There is no way of knowing who forged it and when, but this forged document forms a major basis for Browder's claim that Magnitsky was clubbed to death.
The fact that there is no credible evidence to indicate that Magnitsky was subjected to a baton attack, combined with forensic photos of Magnitsky's body shortly after death that show no marks on it, provides evidence that appears to repudiate Browder's decade-long assertions that Magnitsky was viciously murdered while in jail.
With evidence such as this, it repeatedly becomes clear that Browder's narrative contains mistakes and inconsistencies that distort the overall view of the events leading to Magnitsky's death.
Despite Magnitsky's death the case against him continued in Russia and he was found guilty of corruption in a posthumous trial. Actually, the trial's main purpose was to investigate alleged fraud by Bill Browder, but to proceed with this they had to include the accountant Magnitsky as well. The Russian court found both of them guilty of fraud. Afterwards, the case against Magnitsky was closed because of his death.
After Browder was refused entry to Russia in November of 2005, he launched a campaign insisting that his departure from Russia resulted from his anti-corruption activities. However, the real reason for the cancellation of his visa that he never mentions is that in 2003 a Russian provincial court had convicted Browder of evading $40 million in taxes. In addition, his illegal purchases of shares in Gazprom through the use of offshore shell companies were reportedly valued at another $30 million, bringing the total figure of tax evasion to $70 million.
It's after this that the Russian federal government next took up the case and initially went after Magnitsky, the accountant who carried out Browder's schemes.
But back in the USA Browder portrayed himself as the ultimate truth-teller, and embellished his tale by asserting that Sergei Magnitsky was a whistleblowing "tax lawyer," rather than one of Browder's accountants implicated in tax fraud. As his case got more involved, he presented a convoluted explanation that he was not responsible for bogus claims made by his companies. This is indeed an extremely complicated matter and as such only a summary of some of this will be presented.
The essence of the case is that in 2007 three shell companies that had once been owned by Browder were used to claim a $232 million tax refund based on trumped-up financial loses. Browder has stated that the companies were stolen from him, and that in a murky operation organized by a convicted fraudster, they were re-registered in the names of others. There is evidence however that Magnitsky and Browder may have been part of this convoluted scheme.
Browder's main company in Russia was Hermitage Capital Management, and associated with this firm were a large number of shell companies, some in the Russian republic of Kalmykia and some in the British Virgin Islands. A law firm in Moscow, Firestone Duncan, owned by Americans, did the legal work for Browder's Hermitage. Sergei Magnitsky was one of the accountants for Firestone Duncan and was assigned to work for Hermitage.
An accountant colleague of Magnitsky's at Firestone Duncan, Konstantin Ponomarev, was interviewed in 2017 by Lucy Komisar, an investigative journalist, who was doing research on Browder's operations in Russia. In the ensuing report on this , Komisar states:
"According to Ponomarev, the firm – and Magnitsky -- set up an offshore structure that Russian investigators would later say was used for tax evasion and illegal share purchases by Hermitage. . .
the structure helped Browder execute tax-evasion and illegal share purchase schemes.
"He said the holdings were layered to conceal ownership: The companies were "owned" by Cyprus shells Glendora and Kone, which, in turn, were "owned" by an HSBC Private Bank Guernsey Ltd trust. Ponomarev said the real owner was Browder's Hermitage Fund. He said the structure allowed money to move through Cyprus to Guernsey with little or no taxes paid along the way. Profits could get cashed out in Guernsey by investors of the Hermitage Fund and HSBC.
"Ponomarev said that in 1996, the firm developed for Browder 'a strategy of how to buy Gazprom shares in the local market, which was restricted for foreign investors.'"
In the course of their investigation, on June 2, 2007, Russian tax investigators raided the offices of Hermitage and Firestone Duncan. They seized Hermitage company documents, computers and corporate stamps and seals. They were looking for evidence to support Russian charges of tax evasion and illegal purchase of shares of Gazprom.
In a statement to US senators on July 27, 2017, Browder stated that Russian interior ministry officials "seized all the corporate documents connected to the investment holding companies of the funds that I advised. I didn't know the purpose of these raids so I hired the smartest Russian lawyer I knew, a 35-year-old named Sergei Magnitsky. I asked Sergei to investigate the purpose of the raids and try to stop whatever illegal plans these officials had."
Contrary to what Browder claims, Magnitsky had been his accountant for a decade. He had never acted as a lawyer, nor did he have the qualifications to do so. In fact in 2006 when questioned by Russian investigators, Magnitsky said he was an auditor on contract with Firestone Duncan. In Browder's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 he claimed Magnitsky was his lawyer, but in 2015 in his testimony under oath in the US government's Prevezon case, Browder told a different story, as will now be related.
On Browder's initiative , in December 2012 he presented documents to the New York District Attorney alleging that a Russian company Prevezon had "benefitted from part of the $230 million dollar theft uncovered by Magnitsky and used those funds to buy a number of luxury apartments in Manhattan." In September 2013, the New York District Attorney's office filed money-laundering charges against Prevezon. The company hired high-profile New York-based lawyers to defend themselves against the accusations.
As reported by Der Spiegel , Browder would not voluntarily agree to testify in court so Prevezon's lawyers sent process servers to present him with a subpoena, which he refused to accept and was caught on video literally running away. In March 2015, the judge in the Prevezon case ruled that Browder would have to give testimony as part of pre-trial discovery. Later while in court and under oath and confronted with numerous documents, Browder was totally evasive. Lawyer Mark Cymrot spent six hours examining him, beginning with the following exchange:
Cymrot asked: Was Magnitsky a lawyer or a tax expert?
He was "acting in court representing me," Browder replied.
And he had a law degree in Russia?
"I'm not aware he did."
Did he go to law school?
How many times have you said Mr. Magnitsky is a lawyer? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred?
"I don't know."
Have you ever told anybody that he didn't go to law school and didn't have a law degree?
Critically important, during the court case, the responsible U.S. investigator admitted during questioning that his findings were based exclusively on statements and documents from Browder and his team. Under oath, Browder was unable to explain how he and his people managed to track the flow of money and make the accusation against Prevezon. In his 2012 letter that launched the court case, Browder referred to "corrupt schemes" used by Prevezon, but when questioned under oath he admitted he didn't know of any. In fact, to almost every question put forth by Mark Cymrot, Browder replied that he didn't know or didn't remember.
The case finally ended in May 2017 when the two sides reached a settlement. Denis Katsyv, the company's sole shareholder, on a related matter agreed to pay nearly six million dollars to the US government, but would not have to admit any wrongdoing. Also the settlement contained an explicit mention that neither Katsyv nor his company Prevezon had anything to do with the Magnitsky case. Afterwards, one of Katsyv's, lawyers, Natalia Veselnitskaya, exclaimed: "For the first time, the U.S. recognized that the Russians were in the right!"
A major exposé of the Browder-Russia story is presented in a film that came out in June 2016 The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes by the well-known independent filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov . Reference to this film will be made later but to provide a summary of the Browder tax evasion case some critical information can be obtained from a report by Eric Zuesse , an investigative historian, who managed to get a private viewing of the film by the film's Production Manager.
In the film Nekrasov proceeds to unravel Browder's story, which was designed to conceal his own corporate responsibility for the criminal theft of the money. As Browder's widely accepted story collapses, Magnitsky is revealed not to be a whistleblower but a likely abettor to the fraud who died in prison not from an official assassination but from banal neglect of his medical condition. The film cleverly allows William Browder to self-destruct under the weight of his own lies and the contradictions in his story-telling at various times.
Following the raid by tax officials on the Moscow Hermitage office on June 2, 2007, nothing further on these matters was reported until April 9, 2008 when Ms Rimma Starlova, the figurehead director of the three supposedly stolen Browder shell companies, filed a criminal complaint with the Russian Interior Ministry in Kazan accusing representatives of Browder companies of the theft of state funds, i.e., $232 million in a tax-rebate fraud. Although Hermitage was aware of this report they kept quiet about it because they claimed it as a false accusation against themselves.
On September 23, 2008, there was a news report about a theft of USD 232 million from the Russian state treasury, and the police probe into it. On October 7, 2008, Magnitsky was questioned by tax investigators about the $232 million fraud because he was the accountant for Browder's companies.
The central issue was that during September of 2007 three of Browder's shell companies had changed owners and that afterwards fraud against Russian treasury had been conducted by the new owners of these companies.
According to Magnitsky the way that ownership changed was through powers of attorney. This is a matter that Browder never mentioned. The Nekrasov film shows a document: "Purchase agreement based on this power of attorney, Gasanov represents Glendora Holdings Ltd." Glendora Holdings is another shell company owned by Browder. This shows that Gasanov, the middleman, had the power of attorney connecting the new nominees to the real beneficiaries. However, Gasanov could not be questioned on whose orders he was doing this because shortly afterwards, he mysteriously died. No one proved that it was murder, but if that death was a coincidence, it wasn't the only one.
During September 2007 the three Hermitage shell companies, Rilend, Parfenion and Mahaon, were re-registered by Gasanov to a company called Pluton that was registered in Kazan, and owned by Viktor Markelov, a Russian citizen with a criminal record. Markelov through a series of sham arbitration judgments conducted fake lawsuits that demanded damages for alleged contract violations. Once the damages were paid, in December 2007 the companies filed for tax refunds that came to $232 million. These were taxes that had been paid by these companies in 2006.
On February 5, 2008 the Investigative Committee of the Russian General Prosecutor's Office opened a criminal case to investigate the fraud committed by Markelov and other individuals.
Markelov had hired a Moscow lawyer, Andrey Pavlov, to conduct these complex operations. Afterwards Pavlov was questioned by Russian authorities and revealed what had happened. Markelov was convicted and sentenced to five years for the scam . At his trial Markelov testified that he was not in possession of the $232 million tax refund and that he did not know the identity of the client who would benefit from the refund scheme. And till this day no one knows! However, Russian tax authorities suspect it is William Browder.
At his trial, Markelov testified that one of the people he worked with to secure the fraudulent tax refund was Sergei Leonidovich. Magnitsky's full name was Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky. Also when questioned by the police, Markelov named Browder's associates Khairetdinov and Kleiner as people involved in the company's re-registration.
So this provides evidence that Magnitsky and Browder's other officials were involved in the re-registration scheme – which Browder later called theft. In his film Nekrasov states that Browder's team had set things up to look as if outsiders -- not Browder's team -- had transferred the assets.
According to Nekrasov's film documentation, Russian courts have established that it was the representatives of the Hermitage investment fund who had themselves voluntarily re-registered the Makhaon, Parfenion and Rilend companies in the name of other individuals, a fact that Mr Browder is seeking to conceal by shifting the blame, without any foundation, onto the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation.
Indeed there is cause to be skeptical of the Browder narrative, and that the fraud was in fact concocted by Browder and his accountant Magnitsky. A Russian court has supported that alternative narrative, ruling in late December 2013 that Browder had deliberately bankrupted his company and engaged in tax evasion. On the basis of this he was sentenced to nine years prison in absentia.
In the meantime, over all these years, Browder has maintained and convinced the public at large that the $232 million fraud against the Russian treasury had been perpetrated by Magnitsky's interrogators and Russian police. With respect to the "theft" of his three companies (or "vehicles as he refers to them) on September 16, 2008 he stated on his Hermitage website : "The theft of the vehicles was only possible using the vehicles' original corporate documents seized by the Moscow Interior Ministry in its raid on Hermitage's law firm in Moscow on 4 June 2007."
As such, Browder is accusing Russian tax authorities and police for conducting this entire fraudulent operation.
In his film Nekrasov says that the Browder version is: "Yes, the crime took place [$232 million fraud against the public treasury but, according to Browder, actually against Browder's firm], but somebody else did it -- the police did it."
In this convoluted tale, it should be recalled that the fraud against the Russian treasury had first been reported to the police by Rimma Starlova on April 9, 2008. This had been recorded on the Hermitage website. In preparing the material for his film, Nekrasov noted that
"In March 2009, Starlova's report disappeared from Hermitage's website. . . . This is the same time that Magnitsky started to be treated as an analyst . . . who discovered the $232 million fraud. Thus the Magnitsky-the-whistleblower story was born, almost a year after the matter had been reported to the police."
Nekrasov's film also undermines the basis of Browder's case that Magnitsky had been killed by the police because he had accused two police officials, Karpov and Kuznetsov, but this is questionable since documents show Magnitsky had not accused anyone. As Nekrasov states in the film: "The problem is, he [Magnitsky] made no accusations. In that testimony, its record contains no accusations. Mr. Magnitsky did not actually testify against the two officers [Karpov and Kuznetsov]." So this factual evidence should destroy Browder's accusations.
It should be noted Magnitsky's original interview with authorities was as a suspect, not a whistleblower. Also contradicting Browder's claims, Nekrasov notes that Magnitsky does not even mention the names of the police officers in a key statement to authorities.
In his film Nekrasov includes an interview that he had with Browder regarding the issues about Magnitsky. Nekrasov confronts Browder with the core contradictions of his story. Incensed, Browder rises up and threatens the filmmaker:
" Anybody who says that Sergei Magnitsky didn't expose the crime before he was arrested is just trying to whitewash the Russian Government. Are you trying to say that Pavel Karpov is innocent? I'd really be careful about your going out and saying that Magnitsky wasn't a whistleblower. That's not going to do well for your credibility." Browder then walks off in a huff.
Nekrasov claims to be especially struck that the basis of Browder's case -- that Magnitsky had been killed by the police because he had accused two police officials, Karpov and Kuznetsov -- is a lie because there is documentary evidence that Magnitsky had not accused anyone.
Because of Browder's accusations, Nekrasov interviewed Pavel Karpov, the police officer who Browder accused of being involved in Magnitsky's alleged murder, despite the fact that Karpov was not on duty the day Magnitsky died.
Karpov presents Nekrasov with documents that Browder's case was built on. These original documents are actually fundamentally different from the way Browder had described them. This documentary evidence further exposes Browder's story for what it is.
Nekrasov asks Karpov why Browder wants to demonize him. Karpov explains that he had pursued Browder in 2004 for tax evasion, so that seems to be the reason why Browder smears him. And then Karpov says, "Having made billions here, Browder forgot to tell how he did it. So it suits him to pose as a victim. He is wanted here, but Interpol is not looking for him."
Afterwards in 2013, Karpov had tried to sue Browder for libel in a London court, but was not able to on the basis of procedural grounds since he was a resident of Russia and not the UK. However at the conclusion of the case, set out in his Judgment the presiding judge, Justice Simon, made some interesting comments.
"The causal link which one would expect from such a serious charge is wholly lacking; and nothing is said about torture or murder. In my view these are inadequate particulars to justify the charge that the Claimant was a primary or secondary party to Sergei Magnitsky's torture and murder, and that he would continue to commit or 'cause' murder, as pleaded in §60 of the Defence.
The Defendants have not come close to pleading facts which, if proved, would justify the sting of the libel."
In other words – in plain English – in the judge's view, Karpov was not in any sense party to Magnitsky's death, and Browder's claim that he was is not valid.
On the basis of the evidence that has been presented, it is undeniable that Browder's case appears to be a total misrepresentation, not only of Magnitsky's statements, but of just about everything else that's important in the case .
On a separate matter, on April 15, 2015 in a New York court case involving the US government and a Russian company, Previzon Holdings, Bill Browder had been ordered by a judge to give a deposition to Prevezon's lawyers.
Throughout this deposition, Browder (now under oath) contradicted virtually every aspect of his Magnitsky narrative and stated "I don't recall" when pressed about key portions of his narrative that he had previously repeated unabashedly in his testimonies to Congress and interviews with Western media. Browder "remembered nothing" and could not even deny asking Magnitsky to take responsibility for his (Browder's) crimes.
As a further example of Browder's dishonesty, in one of his publications, he shows a photo of an alleged employee of Browder's law firm, Firestone Duncan, named "Victor Poryugin" with vicious facial wounds from allegedly being tortured and beaten by police. However, the person shown was never with Browder's firm. Instead, this is a photo of "an American human rights campaigner beaten up during a street protest in 1961." It was Jim Zwerg, civil-rights demonstrator, during the 1960s, in the American South. Nekrasov was appalled and found it almost unimaginable that Browder would switch photos like that to demonize Russia and its police.
Browder was arrested by the Spanish police in June 2018. Even though Russia has on six occasions requested Browder's arrest through Interpol for tax fraud, the Spanish national police determined that Browder had been detained in error because the international warrant was no longer valid and released him.
A further matter that reflects on his character, William Browder, the American-born co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management is now a British citizen. The US taxes offshore earnings, but the UK does not. Highly likely because of this, in 1998 he gave up his American citizenship and became a British citizen and thereby has avoided paying US taxes on foreign investments. Nevertheless, he still has his family home in Princeton, NJ and also owns a $11 million dollar vacation home in Aspen, Colorado.
To put this in political context, Browder's narrative served a strong geopolitical purpose to demonize Russia at the dawn of the New Cold War. As such, Browder played a major role in this. In fact, the late celebrated American journalist Robert Parry thought that Browder single-handedly deserves much of the credit for the new Cold War.
Browder's campaign was so effective that in December 2012 he exploited Congressional willingness to demonize Russia, and as a result the US Congress passed a bipartisan bill, the Magnitsky Act, which was then signed by President Obama. U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and John McCain were instrumental in pushing through the Magnitsky Act, based on Browder's presentations.
However, key parts of the argument that passed into law in this act have been shown to be based on fraud and fabrication of 'evidence.' This bill blacklisted Russian officials who were accused of being involved in human-rights abuses.
In her analysis of the Magnitsky Act, Lucy Komisar, an investigative journalist, reveals a little known fact :
"A problem with the Magnitsky Act is that there is no due process. The targets are not told the evidence against them, they cannot challenge accusations or evidence in a court of law in order to get off the list. This "human rights law" violates the rule of law. There is an International Court with judges and lawyers to deal with human rights violators, but the US has not ratified its jurisdiction. Because it does not want to be subject to the rules it applies to others."
In 2017, Congress passed the Global Magnitsky Act, which enables the U.S. to impose sanctions against Russia for human rights violations worldwide.
In a move that history will show to be ill-advised, on October 18, 2017 Canada's Parliament and Senate unanimously approved Bill 226, a 'Magnitsky Act.' It mimics the US counterpart and targets Russia for further economic sanctions. Russia immediately denounced Canada's actions as being counter-productive, pointless and reprehensible. Actually an act of this type had been opposed by Stéphane Dion while he was Canada's minister of foreign affairs because he viewed it as a needless provocation against Russia. Dion also stated that adoption of a 'Magnitsky Act' would hurt the interests of Canadian businesses dealing with Russia and would thwart Canada's attempt's to normalize relations with Russia. However, Dion was replaced by Chrystia Freeland who immediately pushed this through. This is not surprising considering her well-documented Nazi family background and who is persona non grata in Russia.
A version of the Magnitsky Act was enacted in the UK and the Baltic republics in 1917.
In early 2020 a proposal to enact a version of the Magnitsky Act was presented to the Australian parliament and it is still under consideration. There has been considerable opposition to it including a detailed report by their Citizens Party, which exposes the full extent of Browder's fraud and chicanery.
The investigation into Browder's business activities in Russia is still an ongoing endeavour. On October 24, 2017 the
Russian Prosecutor General , Yuri Chaika, requested the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a probe into alleged tax evasion by Bill Browder, who in 2013 had already been sentenced in absentia to 9 years in prison in Russia for a similar crime.
Browder at that time was still being tried in Russia for suspected large-scale money laundering, also in absentia. Chaika added that Russian law enforcement possesses information that over $1 billion was illegally transferred from the country into structures connected with Bill Browder.
The Prosecutor General also asked Sessions to reconsider the Magnitsky Act. As he put it,
" from our standpoint, the act was adopted for no actual reason, while it was lobbied by people who had committed crimes in Russia. In our view, there are grounds to claim that this law lacks real foundation and that its passing was prompted by criminals' actions."
It's not known if Sessions ever responded to the Russian Prosecutor General. In any event, President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on November 7, 2018. As such it's evident that Russia's concerns about Browder's dishonest activities are stymied.
Extensive reference has already been made to the film that came out in June 2016 The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes by the independent filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov . When Nekrasov started the film he had fully believed Browder's story but as he delved into what really happened, to his surprise, he discovered that the case documents and other incontrovertible facts revealed Browder to be a fraud and a liar. The ensuing film presents a powerful deconstruction of the Magnitsky myth, but because of Browder's political connections and threats of lawsuits, the film has been blacklisted in the entire "free world." So much for the "free world's" freedom of the press and media. This film is not available on YouTube.
The documentary was set for a premiere at the European Parliament in Brussels in April 2016, but at the last moment – faced with Browder's legal threats – the parliamentarians cancelled the showing.
There were hopes to show the documentary to members of Congress but the offer was rebuffed. Despite the frantic attempts by Browder's lawyers to block this documentary film from being shown anywhere, Washington's Newseum, to its credit, had a one-time showing on June 13, 2016, including a question-and-answer session with Andrei Nekrasov, moderated by journalist Seymour Hersh. Except for that audience, the public of the United States and Europe has been essentially shielded from the documentary's discoveries, all the better for the Magnitsky myth to retain its power as a seminal propaganda moment of the New Cold War.
Nekrasov's powerful deconstruction of the Magnitsky myth – and the film's subsequent blacklisting throughout the "free world" – recall other instances in which the West's propaganda lines don't stand up to scrutiny, so censorship and ad hominem attacks become the weapons of choice to defend " perception management ."
Other than the New York Times that had a lukewarm review , the mainstream media condemned the film and its showing. As such, with the exception of that one audience, the public in the USA, Canada and Europe has been shielded from the documentary's discoveries. The censorship of this film has made it a good example of how political and legal pressure can effectively black out what we used to call "the other side of the story."
Andrei Nekrasov is still prepared to go to court to defend the findings of his film, but Bill Browder has refused to do this and simply keeps maligning the film and Mr. Nekrasov.
Although for almost the past ten years Browder's self-serving story had been accepted almost worldwide and served to help vilify Russia, in the past few months there has been an awakening to the true state of affairs about Browder.
The first such article "The Case of Sergei Magnitsky: Questions Cloud Story Behind U.S. Sanctions" written by Benjamin Bidder, a German journalist, appeared on November 26, 2019 in Der Spiegel. At the outset Bidder states:
"Ten years after his death, inconsistencies in Magnitsky's story suggest he may not have been the hero many people -- and Western governments -- believed him to be. Did the perfidious conspiracy to murder Magnitsky ever really take place? Or is Browder a charlatan whose story the West was too eager to believe? The certainty surrounding the Magnitsky affair becomes muddled in the documents, particularly the clear division between good and evil. The Russian authorities' take is questionable, but so is everyone else's -- including Bill Browder's.
But with the Magnitsky sanctions, it could be that the activist Browder used a noble cause to manipulate Western governments."
In summation, the article raises serious questions about many aspects of Browder's account. It concluded that his narrative was riddled with lies and said Western nations have fallen for a "convenient" story made up by a "fraudster. "
The report provoked Browder's fury, and he swiftly filed a complaint against Der Spiegel with the German Press Council as well as a complaint to the editor of Der Spiegel .
On December 17, 2019 Der Spiegel responded : " Why DER SPIEGEL Stands Behind Its Magnitsky Reporting." In a lengthy detailed response the journal rejects all aspects of Browder's complaint. They point out the inconsistencies in Browder's version of events and demonstrate that he is unable to present sufficient proof for his claims. They state: We believe his complaint has no basis and would like to review why we have considerable doubts about Browder's story and why we felt it necessary to present those doubts publicly."
Their report is highly enlightening and will have long-term consequences. It is one of the best refutations of Browder's falsified accounts that led to the Magnitsky Act. It exposes Browder as a fraud and his Magnitsky story as a fake. Despite all this, this exposé was ignored in the mainstream media so most people are unaware of these revelations. A good review of it is presented by Lucy Komisar in her article The Der Spiegel exposé of Bill Browder, December 6, 2019.
The German Press Council rejected Browder's complaint against Der Spiegel in January 2020 but Browder did not disclose this so it became known only in early May. Lucy Komisar reported this on May 12 and the main points of the Council's rejection are presented in her account. Browder had complained that the article had serious factual errors. The Press Council stated that Browder's position lacks proof and there could be no objection to Der Spiegel's examination of events leading to Magnitsky's death. All other Browder objections were rejected as well. In summation the Council stated: "Overall, we could not find a violation of journalistic principles."
But the action of the press council has not been reported in the Canadian, U.S. or UK media. Nor was the November Der Spiegel report.
The German Press Council ruling follows a December 2019 Danish Press Board ruling against another Browder complaint over an article by a Danish financial news outlet, Finans.dk, on his tax evasion and invented Magnitsky story. Significantly, both the Danish and German cases involve mainstream media, which usually toe the US-UK-NATO strategic line against Russia, which Browder's story serves. And these press complaint rulings follow a September 2019 European Court of Human Rights ruling that there was credible evidence that Magnitsky and Browder were engaged in a conspiracy to commit tax fraud and that Magnitsky was rightfully charged.
In summation, for ten years or more, no one in the West ever seriously challenged Bill Browder's account of what happened to his "lawyer" Sergei Magnitsky and his stories of corruption and malfeasance in Russia. This is what allowed him to get such influence that the Magnitsky Act was passed, despite Russia's attempts to clarify matters.
But when pressure was exerted on Germany to install a Magnitsky Act, one of their most influential journals Der Spiegel published an investigative bombshell picking apart Browder's story about his auditor Sergei Magnitsky's death. Browder immediately lashed out at Der Spiegel , accusing it of "misrepresenting the facts." However, his outraged objections backfired and resulted in a further even more damaging Der Spiegel article and a rebuke from the German Press Council.
At long last, thanks to Der Spiegel , its investigative reports have effectively rejected and discredited Browder's claim that Magnitsky was a courageous whistleblower who exposed corruption in Russia and was mercilessly killed by authorities out of revenge.
Despite this important and significant course of events, because of its imbedded Russophobia, the mainstream media have completely ignored the Der Spiegel exposé and almost nowhere has this been reported. To some extent this is because Browder has used his fortune to threaten lawsuits for anyone who challenges his version of events, effectively silencing many critics. Hence aside from people in Germany, this has been a non-event and the Browder hoax still prevails. Given this, it is important for us to publicize this revelation as best we can.
John Ryan, Ph.D. is a Retired Professor of Geography and Senior Scholar, University of Winnipeg The Untouchable Mr. Browder? The Browder affair is a heady upper-class Jewish cocktail of money, spies, politicians and international crime. Israel Shamir Is Bill Browder the Most Dangerous Man in the World? The darling of the war party needs to answer some questions Philip Giraldi
Vuki , says: Show Comment July 1, 2020 at 10:44 pm GMTJohn, great article but we know that what you call "large-scale privatizations in Russia " was a large scale robbery. Even Magnitsky's mother stated that Browder is a fraud. Mr. Nekrasov whose film has been banned in many countries due to Browder's legal challenges has a reputation as a Putin critic -- After interviewing Mr. Browder in 2010 Nekrasov says he set out to make a "Magnitsky the hero" film. But as filming proceeded he "began to have doubts". More accurate would be that he smelled a rat. John, I have read many of your articles you never disappoint with your research and evidence.Neo-Socratic , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 5:26 am GMTOutstanding article sir. I remember when Browder popped up in the news a couple of years ago and made TV appearances on all three big networks in the same day. I was astonished that this lowlife wielded such influence in America.TheTrumanShow , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 5:49 am GMT
Total and absolute corruption just like Weimer." smelled a rat "No Friend Of The Devil , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
Indeed – and very likely more than one! It should be obvious that the ease with which Browder (a complete nonentity) was able to get away with what he got away with in Russia and remain a virtually untouchable, protected free man to this day, in spite of the very significant evidence against him, would very much seem to indicate that he, much like Paul Bremer later in Iraq, was a tool of higher powers.Excellent article. There is a misperception that these pathological liars are believed, since their critics are silenced. It has been my experience that that is not the case. The pathological liars are not believed. They just keep lying, sabotaging, fining, legal system stalking, shouting down their oppenents, black listing those who doubt or know that they are lying as conspiracy theorists. I've been witnessing this for far to long. It is obviously not limited to the Magnitsky Act. This country is really nothing more than a sick joke at this point. These individuals do not behave like people. They behave like mercury poisoned monsters. Maybe they are. There is no logical excuse for this insanity. However, if they were mercury poisoned monsters, they would not all always have the same insane delusions. They are extremely corrupt sadistic terrorist criminal psychopaths that have destroyed America and the rest of the world too.Anon  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 7:23 am GMT
They are not The Resistance, they are The Persistence! Something has to be done about them. Freedom of the press does not give people the freedom to deliberately lie. You may doubt that, however, slander, libel, and defamation of charcter suits will prove you to be wrong, in addition to providing false information that endangers human life and national security, in the case of a non person like covid that is being used to deprive people of every liberty and rights that exists, including life. They are terrorists. They cannot claim to be news journalists or investigative reporters if they simply say whatever their advertisers or the government tells them to say. If they are unable to get to the bottom of the story, when so many in the alternative media are, then they are either unqualified to do their jobs, or are simply full of shit.
I really believe that the primary intention of covid and the response to it is to get people to voluntarily give up cell phones, particularly since 5-G is so hazardous. That way, the industries will never have to admit any wrong doing about the health hazards related to cell phones and Wi-Fi.That
is what I believe. Also, you can be damn sure that the government and corporations do not like the fact that they can be embarrassed by people that they cannot prevent from embarrassing them without being accused of human rights abuses like vault7 technology.
"Did they expect us to treat them with any respect?!" – Pink Floyd Fletcher Memorial Home For Incurable Tyants
Knowing them, they probably did!@Vuki I had at one time a copy of a book titled "The murder of Bill Browder" by an Eastern European journalist which I have, unfortunately, misplaced. As well as being an exposè of the nefarious Mr Browder it also exposes far more serious wrongdoing against him. This book has vanished from the Google search engine (I wonder why?) so if anyone can tell me where to get a copy i would really value itFlintWheel4 , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 7:41 am GMTAn aptly titled must read:GMC , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 8:48 am GMT
While most American's were distracted by the emerging World Wide Web, our elite were raping Russia. I'll say it again, America's "elite" raped Russia. In internet time twenty five years past puts you in prehistoric times. This is critical history that most of us missed, or more accurately wasn't available -- to the majority of us.
This was the Clinton era -- with just that you know this story can't be good. With Slick Willie's taste for skanks in a period where there is a story of beautiful impoverished young Russian women (teens likely) forming a line for one of our "elite" who was peeling off Benjamins for blowjobs in a club frequented by their foreign "advisors." Yep, I'm sure this was of no interest to William Jefferson Blythe III.
Harvard University was given a significant role in this "helping" of Russia (pardon the pun), due to the prestige of this institution, long-gone and unbeknownst to Russian elite, but hey they weren't "connected" yet. Geez, sorry about your luck. The Harvard you got was the Harvard we've been getting also, a race privileged hot bed for educating global "rapists" (or was that Brandeis University I'm thinking of?). Six of one
William Browder is a highly educated Jew (not certain about either) who's grandfather was Earl Browder, the former General Secretary of the CPUSA (that's the "Communist Party of the United States of America" for those of you who didn't know we had one). Bill Browder crowed about the irony in his grandfather being an activist for communism here in the U.S., while HE was an activist for capitalism in Russia! No, he was doing to Russia what Jews did to Russia when they hijacked the real Russian's revolution -- fucking them.
Billy Browder's book, "Red Notice," seems at first heartfelt story from a genuine American do-gooder. Oops! I missed the "A true story " tip-off. It's a self engrandizing fairy tale of a rapist's plea of innocence because "she didn't say NO."
There is MUCH more to this most interesting, world impacting historical event, that I believe is the most understated and least understood of the twentieth century, but that said, who fucked up? Certainly Yeltsin with his alcohol addled brain (likely rooted for by Russian Jews, who are the MOST notorious criminals world-wide) in trusting and believing America would help Russia! More significantly I feel America did, big-time, for acting so damn un-American. Unfortunately the America I'm dreaming of is as long-gone as Harvard and now, like Harvard has a Zionist occupied governance (if you didn't know what "ZOG" stood for). Come to think of it, we're acting much like Israel. God save America!
I can tell you one person who did not, Vladimir Ilyich Putin. Yeltsin threw Russia's doors open to the west and Putin slammed them shut. You can quibble about how he got and keeps his office, or how he enriched himself through the process, but he had a job to do and he did it well -- he saved Russia from what the west was going to continue doing to it. You may not agree with his ideology, but he is the most formidable leader the world has. I pray he leaves Russia and Russians in a better place than we're headed.
So, here we are today, where Trump is currently in the position to decide whether Russia should be invited to the next G-whatever summit:
I say we're damn lucky it isn't Putin deciding whether to include Trump and the U.S., as some day it very well may be.
P.S. This is a rant of mine burning a long time for a window. Thank you John Ryan. Thank you Billy Browder. Most of all, Thank YOU Mr. Unz!
UNZ has provided a platform for authors, journalists and "knowers" from all over the world. All converging on the same theme -- there is a "they" and there is a plan. This seeming runaway train has awakened plain folks with uncommon sense and giants of intellect alike. Kudos, Ron Unz." The western Governments are easily moved or manipulated" and have been Gang Banged – time and time again by the corrupt mafia corporations, Zionists inc., and a dozen other international gangs that are in charge of things – today. Not to mention the corrupt, treasonist nationals that work for the Western Governments. Browder's Hermitage scam just shows how easily the US Gov and others are bought and paid for – that's why the true Magnitsky lie , has to be covered up , from the public. PS – notice all the tax money Browder skimmed off the US – very visible to anyone that can smell a Rat.jsigur , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 9:24 am GMTI became aware of the Browder case when known controlled asset, Brandon Martinez, used his claims as a refutation of Putin which he seemed unbelievably obsessed about.Parsnipitous , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 10:09 am GMT
As I perused you-tube for videos on Browder, I saw that he was welcomed into all approved western media to make his case with the questioners rarely going into the material to dispute his claims. I determined at that time that Browder was part of a deep state campaign to demonize Russia under Putin leadership.
It surprises me not to hear no MSM News organization will print these latest findings since in 2012 I realized the free world and press are anything but free and lie as much or more than the most demonized communist outlets.
Not mentioned in the article that I recall is the fact that Browder's dad was the head of the Communist party in the USA before and during WWII which should be enough by itself for a legitimate news outlet to scrutinize with great vigor any claims made by the man but then we know WWII was really a war against any country willing to exercise goyim rule independent of Jewish advisors and that the US was on the side of Jewish power in that war as much as all the other wars it has engaged in.
(Its interesting that my spell check keeps telling me that there is no such word as "goyem")"But when pressure was exerted on Germany to install a Magnitsky Act, one of their most influential journals "Chet Roman , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 11:40 am GMT
Der Spiegel is known as a craven Atlanticist rag. Somebody high up – possibly as a snub to the Trump admin – must have provided ass cover for it to be upheld.@Anon https://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/TheKillingOfWilliamBrowder_PrintLayout_6x9-1.pdfSaggy , says: Website Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT@Vuki You can see the film hereannamaria , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 12:52 pm GMT
That Browder is a crook is not surprising, the revelation is the extent to which he is supported by the establishment.Bill Browder has been heavily supported by Ben Cardin, a prominent zionist in the US Congress.vot tak , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 2:39 pm GMT
Browder is a mega thief (he was also involved in several deaths-on-order) who owes everything to Cardin and other zionists from the Mega Group like Lex Wexner and similar criminals:
It is the same old story of subversion of the state by the moneyed and powerful Israel-firsters.Useful summary of browder's scam. The man managered to wield a great amount of influence in american/uk media and government, yet is only a minor player by western oligarch standards. For that he must have substantial backing. By whom?AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:18 pm GMT
Well he definitely is closely defended by these sources:
British Jewish businessman who challenged Putin is put on Interpol wanted list
Be careful of Putin, he is a true enemy of Jews
Who has the power to control media and western governments to such a tight degree?Bill Browder is a thief, a typical representative of a flock of Western vultures that landed in 1990s Russia to steal state assets. When his thievery was curbed by Putin, he got angry and vengeful, like a scorned lover. He manufactured and spread lies to whip up an anti-Putin campaign in the West. His "narrative" was eagerly supported by the neocons and other scum, as it was in line with their "narrative". Naturally, the first things about Browder any honest investigator or journalist would unearth were lies and fraud. Just as naturally, the scum and scum-controlled Western MSM keep spreading lies supporting their "narrative", and ignoring numerous facts that contradict it.Alfred , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:31 pm GMTThere is an interesting connection between Bill Bowder, Robert Maxwell, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and others. They are all members of "CLUB"Really No Shit , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:55 pm GMT
There are many more revealing articles on Martin Armstrong's blog. Browder is one of the biggest scumbags to ever walk on this earth. He is trying to start a war against Russia – because they took away some of the things he had stolen. An absolute arsehole.
Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested – Clinton's & Epstein's Lover | Armstrong EconomicsBen Cardin must feel like a schmuck given Ben Bidder's exposé in the Der Spiegel but having suborned the late drama queen Johnny McCain in supporting him in his efforts to protect a fellow tribesman, the noodge won't make any effort to rescind the illicit bill now that's the power of corruption!
Jul 02, 2020 | www.unz.com
Alfred , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:31 pm GMTThere is an interesting connection between Bill Bowder, Robert Maxwell, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and others. They are all members of "CLUB"Really No Shit , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 3:55 pm GMT
There are many more revealing articles on Martin Armstrong's blog. Browder is one of the biggest scumbags to ever walk on this earth. He is trying to start a war against Russia – because they took away some of the things he had stolen. An absolute arsehole.
Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested – Clinton's & Epstein's Lover | Armstrong EconomicsBen Cardin must feel like a schmuck given Ben Bidder's exposé in the Der Spiegel but having suborned the late drama queen Johnny McCain in supporting him in his efforts to protect a fellow tribesman, the noodge won't make any effort to rescind the illicit bill now that's the power of corruption!Bombercommand , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 4:54 pm GMT@Saggy Many thanks for posting this. Halfway through the film I began to suspect that Browder had Magnitsky killed: "Dead Men Tell No Tales", and an accountant can tell very important tales for the procecution. I had no idea that several guys connected with Browder shell companies convienently turned up dead. Looks like the "cleanup" scenes in Scorcese's "Casino".Craig Nelsen , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 5:34 pm GMTThe Nekrasov film is absolutely devastating. Bowder comes off looking like the rat-faced vermin he is.geokat62 , says: Show Comment July 2, 2020 at 9:32 pm GMTHere's a link to all 6 parts of Browder's deposition in the Previzon case
Jul 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orglikbez , July 02, 2020 at 03:51@Prof K | Jul 1 2020 20:50 utc | 18In fact, much of his economic and social policies have a decidedly neoliberal bent. As Tony Wood argues, Putin has reformed and consolidated the Yeltsin system. There is not as much of a break with Yeltsin as liberals -- or apparently leftists looking for any hope -- want to believe.You have no clue. This is a typical left-wing "Infantile Disorder" point of view based on zero understanding of Russia and neoliberalism as a social system. Not that I am a big specialist, but your level of ignorance and arrogance is really stunning.
Neoliberalism as a social system means internal colonization of population by financial oligarchy and resulting decline of the standard of living for lower 80% due to the redistribution of wealth up. It also means subservience to international financial capital and debt slavery for vassal countries (the group to which Russia in views of Washington belongs) .
The classic example is Ukraine where 80% of population are now live on the edge of abject poverty. Russia, although with great difficulties, follows a different path. This is indisputable.
The neoliberal resolution which happened under alcoholic Yeltsin was stopped or at least drastically slowed down by Putin. Some issues were even reversed. For example, the USA interference via NGO ended. Direct interference of the USA into internal affairs of Russia ( Russia was a USA colony under Yeltsin ) also diminished, although was not completely eliminated (and this is impossible in view of the USA position in the the hegemon of the neoliberal "International" and owner of the world reserve currency.)
Those attempts to restore the sovereignty of Russia were clearly anti-neoliberal acts of Putin. After all the slogan of neoliberalism is "financial oligarchy of all countries unite" -- kind of perversion of Trotskyism (or. more correctly, "Trotskyism for the rich.")
In general, Yeltsin's model of neoliberalism in Russia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semibankirschina ) experienced serious setbacks under Putin's rule, although some of his measures were distinctly neoliberal.
Recent "Medvedev's" pension reform is one (which was partially a necessity due to the state of Russian finances at the time; although the form that was chosen -- in your face, without some type of carrot -- was really mediocre, like almost anything coming from Medvedev ); some botched attempt in privatization of electrical networks with Chubais at the helm is another -- later stopped, etc.
But in reality, considerable if not dominant political power now belongs to corporations, whether you want it or not. And that creates strong neoliberal fifth column within the country. That's a huge problem for Putin. The alternative is dictatorship which usually does not end well. So there is not much space for maneuvering anyway. You need to play the anti-neoliberal game very skillfully as you always have weak cards in hands, the point which people like VK never understand.
BTW, unlike classic neoliberals, Putin is a consistent proponent of indexation of income of lower strata of the population to inflation, which he even put in the constitution. Unlike Putin, classic neoliberals preach false narrative that "the rising tide lifts all boats."
All-in-all whenever possible, Putin often behaves more like a New Deal Capitalism adherent, than like a neoliberal. He sincerely is trying to provide a decent standard of living for lower 80% of the population. He preserves a large share of state capital in strategically important companies. Some of them are still state-owned (anathema for any neoliberal.)
But he operates in conditions where neoliberalism is the dominant system and when Russia is under constant, unrelenting pressure, and he needs to play by the rules.
Like any talented politician, he found some issues were he can safely deviate from neoliberal consensus without too hard sanctions. In other matters, he needs to give up to survive.
Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Home / Articles / Realism & Restraint / Madcap Militarism: H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack On Restraint REALISM & RESTRAINT Madcap Militarism: H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack On Restraint
Anyone looking for new grand strategy won't find it in the retired general's latest 'think piece.' Gen. H.R. McMaster in 2013. By CSIS/Flickr
JUNE 29, 2020|
12:01 AMANDREW J. BACEVICH
H.R. McMaster looks to be one of those old soldiers with an aversion to following Douglas MacArthur's advice to "just fade away."
The retired army three-star general who served an abbreviated term as national security adviser has a memoir due out in September. Perhaps in anticipation of its publication, he has now contributed a big think-piece to the new issue of Foreign Affairs. The essay is unlikely to help sell the book.
The purpose of McMaster's essay is to discredit "retrenchers" -- that's his term for anyone advocating restraint as an alternative to the madcap militarism that has characterized U.S. policy in recent decades. Substituting retrenchment for restraint is a bit like referring to conservatives as fascists or liberals as pinks : It reveals a preference for labeling rather than serious engagement. In short, it's a not very subtle smear, as indeed is the phrase madcap militarism. But, hey, I'm only playing by his rules.
Yet if not madcap militarism, what term or phrase accurately describes post-9/11 U.S. policy? McMaster never says. It's among the many matters that he passes over in silence. As a result, his essay amounts to little more than a dodge, carefully designed to ignore the void between what assertive "American global leadership" was supposed to accomplish back when we fancied ourselves the sole superpower and what actually ensued.
Here's what McMaster dislikes about restraint: It is based on "emotions" and a "romantic view" of the world rather than reason and analysis. It is synonymous with "disengagement" -- McMaster uses the terms interchangeably. "Retrenchers ignore the fact that the risks and costs of inaction are sometimes higher than those of engagement," which, of course, is not a fact, but an assertion dear to the hearts of interventionists. Retrenchers assume that the "vast oceans" separating the United States "from the rest of the world" will suffice to "keep Americans safe." They also believe that "an overly powerful United States is the principal cause of the world's problems." Perhaps worst of all, "retrenchers are out of step with history and way behind the times."
Forgive me for saying so, but there is a Trumpian quality to this line of argument: broad claims supported by virtually no substantiating evidence. Just as President Trump is adamant in refusing to fess up to mistakes in responding to Covid-19 -- "We've made every decision correctly" -- so too McMaster avoids reckoning with what actually happened when the never-retrench crowd was calling the shots in Washington and set out after 9/11 to transform the Greater Middle East.
What gives the game away is McMaster's apparent aversion to numbers. This is an essay devoid of stats. McMaster acknowledges the "visceral feelings of war weariness" felt by more than a few Americans. Yet he refrains from exploring the source of such feelings. So he does not mention casualties -- the number of Americans killed or wounded in our post-9/11 misadventures. He does not discuss how much those wars have cost , which, of course, spares him from considering how the trillions expended in Afghanistan and Iraq might have been better invested at home. He does not even reflect on the duration of those wars, which by itself suffices to reveal the epic failure of recent U.S. military policy. Instead, McMaster mocks what he calls the "new mantra" of "ending endless wars."
Well, if not endless, our recent wars have certainly dragged on for far longer than the proponents of those wars expected. Given the hundreds of billions funneled to the Pentagon each year -- another data point that McMaster chooses to overlook -- shouldn't Americans expect more positive outcomes? And, of course, we are still looking for the general who will make good on the oft-repeated promise of victory.
What is McMaster's alternative to restraint? Anyone looking for the outlines of a new grand strategy in step with history and keeping up with the times won't find it here. The best McMaster can come up with is to suggest that policymakers embrace "strategic empathy: an understanding of the ideology, emotions, and aspirations that drive and constrain other actors" -- a bit of advice likely to find favor with just about anyone apart from President Trump himself.
But strategic empathy is not a strategy; it's an attitude. By contrast, a policy of principled restraint does provide the basis for an alternative strategy, one that implies neither retrenchment nor disengagement. Indeed, restraint emphasizes engagement, albeit through other than military means.
Unless I missed it, McMaster's essay contains not a single reference to diplomacy, a revealing oversight. Let me amend that: A disregard for diplomacy may not be surprising in someone with decades of schooling in the arts of madcap militarism.
The militarization of American statecraft that followed the end of the Cold War produced results that were bad for the United States and bad for the world. If McMaster can't figure that out, then he's the one who is behind the times. Here's the truth: Those who support the principle of restraint believe in vigorous engagement, emphasizing diplomacy, trade, cultural exchange, and the promotion of global norms, with war as a last resort. Whether such an approach to policy is in or out of step with history, I leave for others to divine.
Andrew Bacevich, TAC's writer-at-large, is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.
kouroi • 2 days agolibertarianlwyr kouroi • 2 days ago
Surveys show over and over that the Americans overwhelmingly share Dr. Bacevich's views. There was even hope that Trump will reign on the US military adventurism.
The fact that all this continues unabated and that the general is given space in the Foreign Affairs is in our face evidence of the glaring democratic deficit existent in the US, and that in fact democracy is nonexistent being long ago fully replaced by a de facto Oligarchy.
Doesn't matter what Dr. Bachevich writes or says or does. Unless and until the internal political issues in the US are not addressed, the world will suffer.kouroi libertarianlwyr • 2 days ago
only idiots and fools were under any delusion that Trump would "reign in US military adventurism".
While Hillary was very clear on her drive against Russia, Trump promised the opposite, so many people had hopes for something on that. Nevertheless, he also promised to go against China and JPCOA, which many people forgot or thought not likely. But lo and behold, with Trump we ended up having the worst of both worlds...
and the tragedy is that even if Biden is elected, that direction will not be reversed, or not likely. While I cannot vote, just because of Trump's rhetoric against military adventurism, I would have voted for him. I would have been wrong, so now I am now extremely weary of any promises on this direction, but still hoped for Tulsi...
Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com
Sean , says: June 30, 2020 at 12:58 pm GMT
There is no reason for US elite act as is being suggested, because the cake they get the lion's share of is growing and so even though inequality is growing, the economy is too and the common people are getting slightly better off.
If a country were in the hands of a tiny minority and they were to act in such a way and try steal all the wealth for themselves, then they would be overthrown by domestic enemies like Somoza was.
Chagnon theorized that war, far from being the product of capitalist exploitation and colonization was in fact the true "state of nature." He concluded that 1) "maximizing political and personal security was the overwhelming driving force in human social and cultural evolution," and 2) "warfare has been the most important single force shaping the evolution of political society in our species."
Everything in the last five years is a symptom of the US reacting to being bested by China.
I happen to think states that are even slightly nation-states have emergent qualities, like a nest of social insects that react as though there is central direction though none exists, and no state is closer to being alive than a democracy.
Jul 01, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
Dan Crawford | June 29, 2020 8:29 amHISTORY JOURNALISM POLITICS
by Ken Melvin
He said I have no opinion about this
And I have no opinion about that
Asked an Honors History Class what they thought was the most important issue facing America. In an earlier period, Patrick, a kid from Africa, responded, "our differences." In a later period, a black female, in a plaintive voice, responded, "we are different."
Indeed. We are a world of people with many differences: different politics, different religions, different cultures. Not just here; worldwide, humans are wrestling with this question: How to live with our differences? Can we humans, after all our centuries, change enough? Change enough to accept our differences?
The importance of these questions came to the fore with the recent onslaught of immigration into Europe and has since played out in referenda/elections throughout Europe and the United States. The pending further, and of greater scale, dislocations caused by global warming/climate change and globalization, makes their answering imperative. Plus: What will resulting cultures look like? At what point does an existing culture become more like that of the immigrant? What is the tipping point? Can the center hold?
Over the past 20 years, really quite late, much of our nation has come to believe that someone else's sexuality is really none of our business. We, as a nation, now accept lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, LGBT, people as they are. Not ignore them, not tolerate them, not demand that they change; but accept them as they are. Yet, there are still regions of America, sectors of the population, where a majority of the people think that they know how people should act, should think, that they have the right to demand that others change.
Really? Does anyone really have the right to tell anyone else that they must change? Be like the rest of 'us'. That they must assimilate?
Time was, when most would have said that assimilation was the time-proven solution; that a minority should adopt the culture of the majority -- with the culture of majority minimally affected. The mechanism for this change went along the lines we have often seen narrated in literature where: the immigrant parents clustered, were suspicious of others, and were subject suspicion. They may have squabbled with those within the cluster of different ethnicity, culture; even called each other names. But, their children played together, went to school together, and along the way took on many of the ways of the majority. Their children might marry someone of their own cultural group, or maybe someone from another; and some married someone from the established majority. Voila, in a couple generations, the immigrant families had assimilated; and the dominant culture had gained a few new dishes to enjoy, added a few new words and phrases to their vocabulary. An immigrant minority assimilated.
What if a cultural minority doesn't want to assimilate? Feels that assimilation would mean the loss of their culture? What if aspects of a minority's cultural beliefs are in direct conflict with those of the majority? For example: Does a minority cultural group that believes in female genital mutilation, FGM, have an inherent right to practice FGM in a society where the majority strongly oppose the practice?
Even in an accepting society, there will be norms, limits, bounds. All well-functioning societies have norms, limits, bounds, ; have common cultural norms that are the 'laws of the land'; that supersede any and all other cultural customs. No cultural belief can ever supersede the law of the land. Though both laws and beliefs are subjective, and both are derivative of culture; they are not equal. Laws have precedence over beliefs. Everyone of a cultural minority chooses whether to believe or not to believe; they do not get to choose which laws to obey. In a multicultural society, some, maybe all, cultures will have to forego certain of their practices. The cultural majority will have to accept certain practices and behaviors of the cultural minority that are different from their own. Minorities cultures can maintain most of their cultural identity and still fit into a larger multicultural society. The cultural majority accepts most of a minority's behavior. In exchange for this acceptance, the minority cultural group must agree to, at all times abide by, accept, the 'laws of the land'.
If any minority cultural group were to be granted immunity to the laws of the land, others will petition for the same; society would soon descend into chaos and failure.
Doesn't the first amendment give us the right to not have religious beliefs imposed on us? It does. But when homegrown religious groups try to impose their religious beliefs upon us, they often try to base their legal arguments on that they disdain most, science.
Mar 06, 2020 | www.counterpunch.orgFacebook Twitter Reddit Email
For the last five years, the American media has been filled with scurrilous articles demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin has been accused of every crime imaginable, from shooting down airplanes, to assassinating opponents, to invading neighboring countries, to stealing money to manipulating the U.S. president and helping to rig the 2016 election.
Few of the accusations directed against Putin have ever been substantiated and the quality of journalism has been at the level of "yellow journalism."
In a desperate attempt to sustain their political careers, centrist Democrats like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton accused their adversaries of being Russian agents – again without proof.
And even the progressive hero Bernie Sanders – himself a victim of red-baiting – has engaged in Russia bashing and unsubstantiated accusations for which he offers no proof.
Guy Mettan's book, Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2017) provides needed historical context for our current political moment, showing how anti-Russian hysteria has long proliferated as a means of justifying Western imperialism.
Mettan is a Swiss journalist and member of parliament who learned about the corruption of the media business when his reporting on the world anticommunist league rankled his newspapers' shareholders, and when he realized that he was serving as a paid stenographer for the Bosnian Islamist leader Alija Izetbegovic in the early 1990s.
Mettan defines Russophobia as the promotion of negative stereotypes about Russia that associate the country with despotism, treachery, expansion, oppression and other negative character traits. In his view, it is "not linked to specific historical events" but "exists first in the head of the one who looks, not in the victim's alleged behavior or characteristics."
Like anti-semitism, Mettan writes, "Russophobia is a way of turning specific pseudo-facts into essential one-dimensional values, barbarity, despotism, and expansionism in the Russian case in order to justify stigmatization and ostracism."
The origins of Russophobic discourse date back to a schism in the Church during the Middle Ages when Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Roman empire and modified the Christian liturgy to introduce reforms execrated by the Eastern Orthodox Churches of the Byzantine empire.
Mettan writes that "the Europe of Charlemagne and of the year 1000 was in need of a foil in the East to rebuild herself, just as the Europe of the 2000s needs Russia to consolidate her union."
Before the schism, European rulers had no negative opinions of Russia. When Capetian King Henri I found himself a widower, he turned towards the prestigious Kiev kingdom two thousand miles away and married Vladimir's granddaughter, Princess Ann.
A main goal of the new liturgy adopted by Charlemagne was to undermine any Byzantine influence in Italy and Western Europe.
Over the next century, the schism evolved from a religious into a political one.
The Pope and the top Roman administration made documents disappear and truncated others in order to blame the Easterners.
Byzantium and Russia were in turn rebuked for their "caesaropapism," or "Oriental style despotism," which could be contrasted which the supposedly enlightened, democratic governing system in the West.
Russia was particularly hated because it had defied efforts of Western European countries to submit to their authority and impose Catholicism.
In the 1760s, French diplomats working with a variety of Ukrainian, Hungarian and Polish political figures produced a forged testament of Peter 1 ["The Great"] purporting to reveal Russia's 'grand design' to conquer most of Europe.
This document was still taken seriously by governments during the Napoleanic wars; and as late as the Cold War, President Harry Truman found it helpful in explaining Stalin.
In Britain, the Whigs, who represented the liberal bourgeois opposition to the Tory government and its program of free-trade imperialism, were the most virulent Russophobes, much like today's Democrats in the United States.
The British media also enflamed public opinion by taking hysterical positions against Russia – often on the eve of major military expeditions.
The London Times during the 1820s Greek Independence war editorialized that no "sane person" could "look with satisfaction at the immense and rapid overgrowth of Russian power." The same thing was being written in The New York Times in the 2010s.
A great example of the Orientalist stereotype was Bram Stoker's novel Dracula , whose main character was modeled after Russian ruler, Ivan the Terrible. As if no English ruler in history was cruel either.
The Nazis took Russo-phobic discourse to new heights during the 1930s and 1940s, combining it with a virulent anti-bolshevism and anti-semitism.
A survey of German high school texts in the 1960s found little change in the image of Russia. The Russians were still depicted as "primitive, simple, very violent, cruel, mean, inhuman, cupid and very stubborn."
The same stereotypes were displayed in many Hollywood films during the Cold War, where KGB figures were particularly maligned.
No wonder that when a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin, took power, people went insane.
Russophobia in the United States has been advanced most insidiously by the nation's foreign policy elite who have envisioned themselves as grand chess-masters seeking to checkmate their Russian adversary in order to control the Eurasian heartland.
This view is little different than European colonial strategists who had learned of the importance of molding public opinion through disinformation campaigns that depicted the Russian bear as a menace to Western civilization.
Guy Mettan has written a thought-provoking book that provides badly needed historical context for the anti-Russian delirium gripping our society.
Breaking the taboo on Russophobia is of vital importance in laying the groundwork for a more peaceful world order and genuinely progressive movement in the United States. Unfortunately, recent developments don't inspire much confidence that history will be transcended. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: JEREMY KUZMAROV
Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018) and Obama's Unending Wars: Fronting for the Foreign Policy of the Permanent Warfare State (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2019).
Jul 01, 2020 | en.wikipedia.org
Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program to arm and finance the mujahideen (jihadists) in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, prior to and during the military intervention by the USSR in support of its client, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The mujahideen were also supported by Britain's MI6, who conducted separate covert actions. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups that were favored by the regime of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in neighboring Pakistan, rather than other, less ideological Afghan resistance groups that had also been fighting the Marxist-oriented Democratic Republic of Afghanistan regime since before the Soviet intervention.
Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken. Funding officially began with $695,000 in 1979, was increased dramatically to $20–$30 million per year in 1980, and rose to $630 million per year in 1987, described as the "biggest bequest to any Third World insurgency." Funding continued (albeit reduced) after the 1989 Soviet withdrawal as the mujahideen continued to battle the forces of President Mohammad Najibullah's army during the Afghan Civil War (1989–1992).
Jul 01, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
From the description of the evolution the thinking of Christopher Steele by his co-conspirators Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch:
'When the Soviet Union finally collapsed, the suffocating surveillance of Western diplomats and suspected intelligence officers suddenly ceased – which for a brief moment seemed like a possible harbinger of a new, less authoritarian future for Russia. But the surveillance started again within days. The intrusive tails and petty harassment were indistinguishable from Soviet practices and have continued to this day. To Steele, that told him all he needed to know about the new Russia: The new boss was the same as the old boss.'
This was, apparently, the figure who MI6 judged fit to head their Russia Desk, and whose analyses were regarded as serious among people in the State Department, CIA, FBI, DOJ etc. LOL.
As to Simpson and Fritsch, they were supposed to be serious journalists. LOL again.
A curious thing is that Tom Catan once was.
He wrote a good long investigative piece in the 'Financial Times', back in 2004, about the death of Stephen Curtis, one of the fourteen mysterious incidents in the U.K., which according to Heidi Blake of 'BuzzFeed', American intelligence agencies have evidence establishing that they were the work of the Russian 'special services.'
(As, according to the 'Sky' report you and Colonel Lang discussed, the supposed attempt to assassinate Sergei and Yulia Skripal is supposed to be.)
What Catan established is that, at the time his helicopter was blown out of the sky, Curtis, lawyer both to the Menatep oligarchs and Berezovsky, had started 'singing sweetly' to what was the the National Criminal Intelligence Service.
And what he was telling them about the activities of Khodorkovsky and his associates would have been 'music to the ears' of Putin and his associates.
As with the deaths of Berezovsky and Patarkatsishvili, which also feature in Ms. Blake's farragos, at the precise time they died, it was precisely Putin and his associates who had the strongest possible interest in keeping them alive.
Ironically, she inadvertently demonstrates a crucial element in this story – the extent to which not only British, but American, intelligence/foreign policy/law enforcement agencies 'got into bed' with the members of the 'semibankirshchina' of the 'Nineties who refused to accept the terms Putin offered.
(See https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/heidiblake/putin-global-assassination-campaign-berezovsky-london . Note, in the link, 'putin-global-assassination-campaign-berezovsky-london.')
Unfortunately, I cannot provide a link to the Catan article, as it is no longer available on the web, and when I put my old link into the 'Wayback Machine' version, I was told it was infected with a Trojan.
But I can send you a copy, if you are interested.
Of course, no ancestry – be it Lithuanian, or Polish, or Ukrainian, or whatever – 'automatically' produces bias.
A prescient early analysis of Putin, which brings out that the notion that his KGB background meant that he wanted conflict with the West is BS, is the 2002 paper 'Vladimir Putin & Russia's Special Services.'
It was published by the 'Conflict Studies Research Centre', which was what the old 'Soviet Studies Research Centre', which did 'open source' analysis for the British military at Sandhurst became, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The actual name of 'Gordon Bennett', who wrote it, is Henry Plater-Zyberk. They were a great, and very distinguished, Polish-Lithuanian noble family.
(See https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/96481/02_Aug_4.pdf .)
In quite a long experience of refugees to these islands from the disasters of twentieth-century European history, and their descendants, I have found that sometimes the history is taken as a subject of reflection and becomes a source of insight and understanding not granted to those with more fortunate backgrounds.
At other times, however, people become locked in a trauma, out of which they cannot escape.
Jul 01, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
@The Twisted Genius
Many here seem to think Russia is a nation totally separate from the now defunct Soviet Union, that Russia is incapable or unwilling to engage in the seamier aspects of realpolitik like all other nations. Funny, Putin doesn't ascribe to this view. A short time ago, someone posted a link to a lecture by the KGB defector, Yuri Bezmenov
Bezmenov was trying to please new owners. Russia does not have resources to engage like USA in Full Spectrum Dominance games. Like Obama correctly said it is regional power.
Also why bother, in internal fight between two factions of neoliberal elite is really bitter and dirty fight. You can't do better that neoliberal Dems in dividing the country. Why spend money if you can just wait.
Enormity of problems within Russia exclude any possibilities of trying to emulate the imperial behavior of the USA. Also Russia does not have the printing press for the world reserve currency, which the USA still has.
And Putin is the first who understands this precarious situation, mentioning this limitation several times in his speeches. As well as the danger of being pushed into senseless arm race with the USA again by Russian MIC, which probably would lead to similar to the USSR results -- further dissolution of Russia into smaller statelets. Which is a dream of both the USA and the EU, for which they do not spare money.
Russia is a very fragile country -- yet another neoliberal country with its own severe problems related to "identity politics" (or more correctly "identity wedge") which both EU and the USA is actively trying to play. Sometimes very successfully.
Ukraine coup detat was almost a knockdown for Putin, at least a very strong kick in the chin; it happened so quick and was essentially prepared by Yanukovish himself with his por-EU and pro-nationalist stance. Being a sleazy crook, he dug the grave for his government mostly by himself.
Now the same game can be repeated in Belarussia as Lukachenko by-and-large outlived his usefulness and like most autocratic figures created vacuum around himself -- he has neither viable successor, not the orderly, well defined process of succession; but economic problems mounts and mounts. Which gives EU+USA a chance to repeat Ukrainian scenario, as by definition years of independence strengthens far right nationalist forces in the country (which were present during WWII probably is no less severe form than in Ukraine and Baltic countries). Which like all xUUSR nationalists are adamantly anti-Russian.
Currently the personality of Putin is kind of most effective guarantee of political stability in Russia, but like any cult of personality this can't last forever and it might deprive Russia of finding qualified successor.
Putin was already burned twice with his overtures to Colonel Qaddafi (who after Medvedev's blunder in UN was completely unable to defend himself), and Yanukovich, who in addition to stupidly pandering to nationalists and trying to be the best friend of Biden proved to be a despicable coward.
Jun 25, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press
President Bill Clinton's favorite freedom fighter just got indicted for mass murder, torture, kidnapping, and other crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Clinton administration launched a 78-day bombing campaign that killed up to 1500 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo in what the American media proudly portrayed as a crusade against ethnic bias. That war, like most of the pretenses of U.S. foreign policy, was always a sham.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was charged with ten counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by an international tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. It charged Thaci and nine other men with "war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture." Thaci and the other charged suspects were accused of being "criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders" and the indictment involved "hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents."
Hashim Thaci's tawdry career illustrates how anti-terrorism is a flag of convenience for Washington policymakers. Prior to becoming Kosovo's president, Thaci was the head of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), fighting to force Serbs out of Kosovo. In 1999, the Clinton administration designated the KLA as "freedom fighters" despite their horrific past and gave them massive aid. The previous year, the State Department condemned "terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army." The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden.
But arming the KLA and bombing Serbia helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many shameless members of Congress anxious to sanctify U.S. killing. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CN) whooped that the United States and the KLA "stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." And since Clinton administration officials publicly compared Serb leader Slobodan Milošević to Hitler, every decent person was obliged to applaud the bombing campaign.
Both the Serbs and ethnic Albanians committed atrocities in the bitter strife in Kosovo. But to sanctify its bombing campaign, the Clinton administration waved a magic wand and made the KLA's atrocities disappear. British professor Philip Hammond noted that the 78-day bombing campaign "was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called 'dual-use' targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorize the country into surrender."Read also: From the very beginning: Α conscious plan to destroy Greece!
NATO repeatedly dropped cluster bombs into marketplaces, hospitals, and other civilian areas. Cluster bombs are anti-personnel devices designed to be scattered across enemy troop formations. NATO dropped more than 1,300 cluster bombs on Serbia and Kosovo and each bomb contained 208 separate bomblets that floated to earth by parachute. Bomb experts estimated that more than 10,000 unexploded bomblets were scattered around the landscape when the bombing ended and maimed children long after the ceasefire.
In the final days of the bombing campaign, the Washington Post reported that "some presidential aides and friends are describing Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton's 'finest hour.'" The Post also reported that according to one Clinton friend "what Clinton believes were the unambiguously moral motives for NATO's intervention represented a chance to soothe regrets harbored in Clinton's own conscience The friend said Clinton has at times lamented that the generation before him was able to serve in a war with a plainly noble purpose, and he feels 'almost cheated' that 'when it was his turn he didn't have the chance to be part of a moral cause.'" By Clinton's standard, slaughtering Serbs was "close enough for government work" to a "moral cause."
Shortly after the end of the 1999 bombing campaign, Clinton enunciated what his aides labeled the Clinton doctrine: "Whether within or beyond the borders of a country, if the world community has the power to stop it, we ought to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing." In reality, the Clinton doctrine was that presidents are entitled to commence bombing foreign lands based on any brazen lie that the American media will regurgitate. In reality, the lesson from bombing Serbia is that American politicians merely need to publicly recite the word "genocide" to get a license to kill.Read also: Derrière l'affaire Benalla, la banalisation de la violence policière
After the bombing ended, Clinton assured the Serbian people that the United States and NATO agreed to be peacekeepers only "with the understanding that they would protect Serbs as well as ethnic Albanians and that they would leave when peace took hold." In the subsequent months and years, American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serb civilians, bombing Serbian churches and oppressing any non-Muslims. Almost a quarter-million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Mr. Clinton promised to protect them. By 2003, almost 70 percent of the Serbs living in Kosovo in 1999 had fled, and Kosovo was 95 percent ethnic Albanian.
But Thaci remained useful for U.S. policymakers. Even though he was widely condemned for oppression and corruption after taking power in Kosovo, Vice President Joe Biden hailed Thaci in 2010 as the "George Washington of Kosovo." A few months later, a Council of Europe report accused Thaci and KLA operatives of human organ trafficking. The Guardian noted that the report alleged that Thaci's inner circle "took captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a number of Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market." The report stated that when "transplant surgeons" were "ready to operate, the [Serbian] captives were brought out of the 'safe house' individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic."
Despite the body trafficking charge, Thaci was a star attendee at the annual Global Initiative conference by the Clinton Foundation in 2011, 2012, and 2013, where he posed for photos with Bill Clinton. Maybe that was a perk from the $50,000 a month lobbying contract that Thaci's regime signed with The Podesta Group, co-managed by future Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, as the Daily Caller reported.
Clinton remains a hero in Kosovo where a statue of him was erected in the capital, Pristina. The Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Clinton "with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999." It would have been a more accurate representation to depict Clinton standing on a pile of corpses of the women, children, and others killed in the U.S. bombing campaign.
In 2019, Bill Clinton and his fanatically pro-bombing former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, visited Pristina, where they were "treated like rock stars" as they posed for photos with Thaci. Clinton declared, "I love this country and it will always be one of the greatest honors of my life to have stood with you against ethnic cleansing (by Serbian forces) and for freedom." Thaci awarded Clinton and Albright medals of freedom "for the liberty he brought to us and the peace to entire region." Albright has reinvented herself as a visionary warning against fascism in the Trump era. Actually, the only honorific that Albright deserves is "Butcher of Belgrade."
Clinton's war on Serbia was a Pandora's box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and most of the media portrayed the war against Serbia as a moral triumph, it was easier for the Bush administration to justify attacking Iraq, for the Obama administration to bomb Libya, and for the Trump administration to repeatedly bomb Syria. All of those interventions sowed chaos that continues cursing the purported beneficiaries.
Bill Clinton's 1999 bombing of Serbia was as big a fraud as George W. Bush's conning this nation into attacking Iraq. The fact that Clinton and other top U.S. government officials continued to glorify Hashim Thaci despite accusations of mass murder, torture, and body trafficking is another reminder of the venality of much of America's political elite. Will Americans again be gullible the next time that Washington policymakers and their media allies concoct bullshit pretexts to blow the hell out of some hapless foreign land?
Jun 30, 2020 | www.veteranstoday.com
VT: The real story of betrayal and how fake history, invented for the West by globalist elites from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. The result has been an America and Britain with generations raised in ignorance, leading to the global catastrophe we see today.
Key in this paper are the background issues tied to the runup between the start of the war in September 1939 and the German invasion of Russia in June 1941.
Some information here is damning to Stalin, however, much if not most is very needed historical clarification and insight into Soviet thinking.
Only when we understand how the precursor of Trump's Kosher Nostra friends started World War II will we recognize how we are walking the same path, led by fake historians and the ignorant.
Everything Putin writes is there for Western historians to see, were they allowed to tell that story without persecution, which they aren't.
Simply put, the Americans and British who fought and died in World War II did so because the elites of their nation in concert with a centuries old cabal of financial criminals, failed to control history out of hubris, arrogance and ignorance.
But then none of them died and they made trillions
By Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation
Seventy-five years have passed since the end of the Great Patriotic War. Several generations have grown up over the years. The political map of the planet has changed. The Soviet Union that claimed an epic, crushing victory over Nazism and saved the entire world is gone. Besides, the events of that war have long become a distant memory, even for its participants. So why does Russia celebrate the ninth of May as the biggest holiday? Why does life almost come to a halt on June 22? And why does one feel a lump rise in their throat?
They usually say that the war has left a deep imprint on every family's history. Behind these words, there are fates of millions of people, their sufferings and the pain of loss. Behind these words, there is also the pride, the truth and the memory.
For my parents, the war meant the terrible ordeals of the Siege of Leningrad where my two-year-old brother Vitya died. It was the place where my mother miraculously managed to survive. My father, despite being exempt from active duty, volunteered to defend his hometown. He made the same decision as millions of Soviet citizens. He fought at the Nevsky Pyatachok bridgehead and was severely wounded. And the more years pass, the more I feel the need to talk to my parents and learn more about the war period of their lives. However, I no longer have the opportunity to do so. This is the reason why I treasure in my heart those conversations I had with my father and mother on this subject, as well as the little emotion they showed.
People of my age and I believe it is important that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren understand the torment and hardships their ancestors had to endure. They need to understand how their ancestors managed to persevere and win. Where did their sheer, unbending willpower that amazed and fascinated the whole world come from? Sure, they were defending their home, their children, loved ones and families. However, what they shared was the love for their homeland, their Motherland. That deep-seated, intimate feeling is fully reflected in the very essence of our nation and became one of the decisive factors in its heroic, sacrificial fight against the Nazis.
I often wonder: What would today's generation do? How will it act when faced with a crisis situation? I see young doctors, nurses, sometimes fresh graduates that go to the "red zone" to save lives. I see our servicemen that fight international terrorism in the Northern Caucasus and fought to the bitter end in Syria. They are so young. Many servicemen who were part of the legendary, immortal 6th Paratroop Company were 19-20 years old. But all of them proved that they deserved to inherit the feat of the warriors of our homeland that defended it during the Great Patriotic War.
This is why I am confident that one of the characteristic features of the peoples of Russia is to fulfill their duty without feeling sorry for themselves when the circumstances so demand. Such values as selflessness, patriotism, love for their home, their family and Motherland remain fundamental and integral to the Russian society to this day. These values are, to a large extent, the backbone of our country's sovereignty.
Nowadays, we have new traditions created by the people, such as the Immortal Regiment. This is the memory march that symbolizes our gratitude, as well as the living connection and the blood ties between generations. Millions of people come out to the streets carrying the photographs of their relatives that defended their Motherland and defeated the Nazis. This means that their lives, their ordeals and sacrifices, as well as the Victory that they left to us will never be forgotten.
We have a responsibility to our past and our future to do our utmost to prevent those horrible tragedies from happening ever again. Hence, I was compelled to come out with an article about World War II and the Great Patriotic War. I have discussed this idea on several occasions with world leaders, and they have showed their support. At the summit of CIS leaders held at the end of last year, we all agreed on one thing: it is essential to pass on to future generations the memory of the fact that the Nazis were defeated first and foremost by the Soviet people and that representatives of all republics of the Soviet Union fought side by side together in that heroic battle, both on the frontlines and in the rear. During that summit, I also talked with my counterparts about the challenging pre-war period.
That conversation caused a stir in Europe and the world. It means that it is indeed high time that we revisited the lessons of the past. At the same time, there were many emotional outbursts, poorly disguised insecurities and loud accusations that followed.
Acting out of habit, certain politicians rushed to claim that Russia was trying to rewrite history. However, they failed to rebut a single fact or refute a single argument. It is indeed difficult, if not impossible, to argue with the original documents that, by the way, can be found not only in the Russian, but also in the foreign archives.
Thus, there is a need to further examine the reasons that caused the world war and reflect on its complicated events, tragedies and victories, as well as its lessons, both for our country and the entire world. And like I said, it is crucial to rely exclusively on archive documents and contemporary evidence while avoiding any ideological or politicized speculations.
I would like to once again recall the obvious fact. The root causes of World War II mainly stem from the decisions made after World War I. The Treaty of Versailles became a symbol of grave injustice for Germany. It basically implied that the country was to be robbed, being forced to pay enormous reparations to the Western allies that drained its economy. French marshal Ferdinand Foch who served as the Supreme Allied Commander gave a prophetic description of that Treaty: "This is not peace. It is an armistice for twenty years."
It was the national humiliation that became a fertile ground for radical sentiments of revenge in Germany. The Nazis skillfully played on people's emotions and built their propaganda promising to deliver Germany from the "legacy of Versailles" and restore the country to its former power while essentially pushing German people into war. Paradoxically, the Western states, particularly the United Kingdom and the United States, directly or indirectly contributed to this. Their financial and industrial enterprises actively invested in German factories and plants manufacturing military products. Besides, many people in the aristocracy and political establishment supported radical, far-right and nationalist movements that were on the rise both in Germany and in Europe.
The "Versailles world order" caused numerous implicit controversies and apparent conflicts. They revolved around the borders of new European states randomly set by the victors in World War I. That boundary delimitation was almost immediately followed by territorial disputes and mutual claims that turned into "time bombs".
One of the major outcomes of World War I was the establishment of the League of Nations. There were high expectations for that international organization to ensure lasting peace and collective security. It was a progressive idea that, if followed through consistently, could actually prevent the horrors of a global war from happening again.
However, the League of Nations dominated by the victorious powers of France and the United Kingdom proved ineffective and just got swamped by pointless discussions. The League of Nations and the European continent in general turned a deaf ear to the repeated calls of the Soviet Union to establish an equitable collective security system, and sign an Eastern European pact and a Pacific pact to prevent aggression. These proposals were disregarded.
The League of Nations also failed to prevent conflicts in various parts of the world, such as the attack of Italy on Ethiopia, the civil war in Spain, the Japanese aggression against China and the Anschluss of Austria. Furthermore, in case of the Munich Betrayal that, in addition to Hitler and Mussolini, involved British and French leaders, Czechoslovakia was taken apart with the full approval of the League of Nations. I would like to point out in this regard that, unlike many other European leaders of that time, Stalin did not disgrace himself by meeting with Hitler who was known among the Western nations as quite a reputable politician and was a welcome guest in the European capitals.
Poland was also engaged in the partition of Czechoslovakia along with Germany. They decided together in advance who would get what Czechoslovak territories. On September 20, 1938, Polish Ambassador to Germany Józef Lipski reported to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Józef Beck on the following assurances made by Hitler: " in case of a conflict between Poland and Czechoslovakia over our interests in Teschen, the Reich would stand by Poland." The Nazi leader even prompted and advised that Poland started to act "only after the Germans occupy the Sudetes."
Poland was aware that without Hitler's support, its annexationist plans were doomed to fail. I would like to quote in this regard a record of the conversation between German Ambassador to Warsaw Hans-Adolf von Moltke and Józef Beck that took place on October 1, 1938, and was focused on the Polish-Czech relations and the position of the Soviet Union in this matter. It says: "Mr. Beck expressed real gratitude for the loyal treatment accorded [to] Polish interests at the Munich conference, as well as the sincerity of relations during the Czech conflict. The attitude of the Führer and Chancellor was fully appreciated by the Government and the public [of Poland]."
The partition of Czechoslovakia was brutal and cynical. Munich destroyed even the formal, fragile guarantees that remained on the continent. It showed that mutual agreements were worthless. It was the Munich Betrayal that served as a "trigger" and made the great war in Europe inevitable.
Today, European politicians, and Polish leaders in particular, wish to sweep the Munich Betrayal under the carpet. Why? The fact that their countries once broke their commitments and supported the Munich Betrayal, with some of them even participating in divvying up the take, is not the only reason. Another is that it is kind of embarrassing to recall that during those dramatic days of 1938, the Soviet Union was the only one to stand up for Czechoslovakia.
The Soviet Union, in accordance with its international obligations, including agreements with France and Czechoslovakia, tried to prevent the tragedy from happening. Meanwhile, Poland, in pursuit of its interests, was doing its utmost to hamper the establishment of a collective security system in Europe. Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Józef Beck wrote about it directly in his letter of September 19, 1938 to the aforementioned Ambassador Józef Lipski before his meeting with Hitler: " in the past year, the Polish government rejected four times the proposal to join the international interfering in defense of Czechoslovakia."
Britain, as well as France, which was at the time the main ally of the Czechs and Slovaks, chose to withdraw their guarantees and abandon this Eastern European country to its fate. In so doing, they sought to direct the attention of the Nazis eastward so that Germany and the Soviet Union would inevitably clash and bleed each other white.
That is the essence of the western policy of appeasement, which was pursued not only towards the Third Reich but also towards other participants of the so-called Anti-Comintern Pact – the fascist Italy and militarist Japan . In the Far East, this policy culminated in the conclusion of the Anglo-Japanese agreement in the summer of 1939, which gave Tokyo a free hand in China. The leading European powers were unwilling to recognize the mortal danger posed by Germany and its allies to the whole world. They were hoping that they themselves would be left untouched by the war.
The Munich Betrayal showed to the Soviet Union that the Western countries would deal with security issues without taking its interests into account. In fact, they could even create an anti-Soviet front, if needed.
Nevertheless, the Soviet Union did its utmost to use every chance of creating an anti-Hitler coalition. Despite – I will say it again – the double‑dealing on the part of the Western countries . For instance, the intelligence services reported to the Soviet leadership detailed information on the behind-the-scenes contacts between Britain and Germany in the summer of 1939 . The important thing is that those contacts were quite active and practically coincided with the tripartite negotiations between France, Great Britain and the USSR, which were, on the contrary, deliberately protracted by the Western partners. In this connection, I will cite a document from the British archives. It contains instructions to the British military mission that came to Moscow in August 1939. It directly states that the delegation was to proceed with negotiations very slowly, and that the Government of the United Kingdom was not ready to assume any obligations spelled out in detail and limiting their freedom of action under any circumstances. I will also note that, unlike the British and French delegations, the Soviet delegation was headed by top commanders of the Red Army, who had the necessary authority to "sign a military convention on the organization of military defense of England, France and the USSR against aggression in Europe."
Poland played its role in the failure of those negotiations as it did not want to have any obligations to the Soviet side. Even under pressure from their Western allies, the Polish leadership rejected the idea of joint action with the Red Army to fight against the Wehrmacht. It was only when they learned of the arrival of Ribbentrop to Moscow that J. Beck reluctantly and not directly, through French diplomats, notified the Soviet side: " in the event of joint action against the German aggression, cooperation between Poland and the Soviet Union is not out of the question, in technical circumstances which remain to be agreed." At the same time, he explained to his colleagues: " I agreed to this wording only for the sake of the tactics, and our core position in relation to the Soviet Union is final and remains unchanged."
In these circumstances, the Soviet Union signed the Non-Aggression Pact with Germany. It was practically the last among the European countries to do so . Besides, it was done in the face of a real threat of war on two fronts – with Germany in the west and with Japan in the east, where intense fighting on the Khalkhin Gol River was already underway.
Stalin and his entourage, indeed, deserve many legitimate accusations. We remember the crimes committed by the regime against its own people and the horror of mass repressions. In other words, there are many things the Soviet leaders can be reproached for, but poor understanding of the nature of external threats is not one of them. They saw how attempts were made to leave the Soviet Union alone to deal with Germany and its allies. Bearing in mind this real threat, they sought to buy precious time needed to strengthen the country's defenses.
Nowadays, we hear lots of speculations and accusations against modern Russia in connection with the Non-Aggression Pact signed back then. Yes, Russia is the legal successor state to the USSR, and the Soviet period – with all its triumphs and tragedies – is an inalienable part of our thousand-year-long history. However, let us recall that the Soviet Union gave a legal and moral assessment of the so-called Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The Supreme Soviet in its resolution of 24 December 1989 officially denounced the secret protocols as "an act of personal power" which in no way reﬂected "the will of the Soviet people who bear no responsibility for this collusion."
Yet other states have preferred to forget the agreements carrying signatures of the Nazis and Western politicians, not to mention giving legal or political assessments of such cooperation, including the silent acquiescence – or even direct abetment – of some European politicians in the barbarous plans of the Nazis. It will suffice to remember the cynical phrase said by Polish Ambassador to Germany J. Lipski during his conversation with Hitler on 20 September 1938: " for solving the Jewish problem, we [the Poles] will build in his honor a splendid monument in Warsaw."
Besides, we do not know if there were any secret "protocols" or annexes to agreements of a number of countries with the Nazis. The only thing that is left to do is to take their word for it. In particular, materials pertaining to the secret Anglo-German talks still have not been declassified. Therefore, we urge all states to step up the process of making their archives public and publishing previously unknown documents of the war and pre-war periods – the way Russia has done it in recent years. In this context, we are ready for broad cooperation and joint research projects engaging historians.
But let us go back to the events immediately preceding the Second World War. It was naïve to believe that Hitler, once done with Czechoslovakia, would not make new territorial claims. This time the claims involved its recent accomplice in the partition of Czechoslovakia – Poland. Here, the legacy of Versailles, particularly the fate of the so-called Danzig Corridor, was yet again used as the pretext. The blame for the tragedy that Poland then suffered lies entirely with the Polish leadership, which had impeded the formation of a military alliance between Britain, France and the Soviet Union and relied on the help from its Western partners, throwing its own people under the steamroller of Hitler's machine of destruction.
The German offensive was mounted in full accordance with the blitzkrieg doctrine. Despite the fierce, heroic resistance of the Polish army, on 8 September 1939 – only a week after the war broke out – the German troops were on the approaches to Warsaw. By 17 September, the military and political leaders of Poland had fled to Romania, abandoning its people, who continued to fight against the invaders.
Poland's hope for help from its Western allies was in vain. After the war against Germany was declared, the French troops advanced only a few tens of kilometers deep into the German territory. All of it looked like a mere demonstration of vigorous action. Moreover, the Anglo-French Supreme War Council, holding its first meeting on 12 September 1939 in the French city of Abbeville, decided to call off the offensive altogether in view of the rapid developments in Poland. That was when the infamous Phony War started. What Britain and France did was a blatant betrayal of their obligations to Poland.
Later, during the Nuremberg trials, German generals explained their quick success in the East. The former chief of the operations staff of the German armed forces high command, General Alfred Jodl admitted: " we did not suffer defeat as early as 1939 only because about 110 French and British divisions stationed in the west against 23 German divisions during our war with Poland remained absolutely idle."
I asked for retrieval from the archives of the whole body of materials pertaining to the contacts between the USSR and Germany in the dramatic days of August and September 1939. According to the documents, paragraph 2 of the Secret Protocol to the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 23 August 1939 stated that, in the event of territorial-political reorganization of the districts making up the Polish state, the border of the spheres of interest of the two countries would run "approximately along the Narew, Vistula and San rivers". In other words, the Soviet sphere of influence included not only the territories that were mostly home to Ukrainian and Belarusian population but also the historically Polish lands in the Vistula and Bug interfluve. This fact is known to very few these days.
Similarly, very few know that, immediately following the attack on Poland, in the early days of September 1939 Berlin strongly and repeatedly called on Moscow to join the military action. However, the Soviet leadership ignored those calls and planned to avoid engaging in the dramatic developments as long as possible.
It was only when it became absolutely clear that Great Britain and France were not going to help their ally and the Wehrmacht could swiftly occupy entire Poland and thus appear on the approaches to Minsk that the Soviet Union decided to send in, on the morning of 17 September, Red Army units into the so-called Eastern Borderlines, which nowadays form part of the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania.
Obviously, there was no alternative. Otherwise, the USSR would face seriously increased risks because – I will say this again – the old Soviet-Polish border ran only within a few tens of kilometers of Minsk. The country would have to enter the inevitable war with the Nazis from very disadvantageous strategic positions, while millions of people of different nationalities, including the Jews living near Brest and Grodno, Przemyśl, Lvov and Wilno, would be left to die at the hands of the Nazis and their local accomplices – anti-Semites and radical nationalists.
The fact that the Soviet Union sought to avoid engaging in the growing conflict for as long as possible and was unwilling to fight side by side with Germany was the reason why the real contact between the Soviet and the German troops occurred much farther east than the borders agreed in the secret protocol. It was not on the Vistula River but closer to the so-called Curzon Line, which back in 1919 was recommended by the Triple Entente as the eastern border of Poland.
As is known, there is hardly any point in using the subjunctive mood when we speak of the past events. I will only say that, in September 1939, the Soviet leadership had an opportunity to move the western borders of the USSR even farther west, all the way to Warsaw, but decided against it
The Germans suggested formalizing the new status quo. On September 28, 1939 Joachim von Ribbentrop and V.Molotov signed in Moscow the Boundary and Friendship Treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union, as well as the secret protocol on changing the state border, according to which the border was recognized at the demarcation line where the two armies de-facto stood.
In autumn 1939, the Soviet Union, pursuing its strategic military and defensive goals, started the process of the incorporation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Their accession to the USSR was implemented on a contractual basis, with the consent of the elected authorities. This was in line with international and state law of that time. Besides, in October 1939, the city of Vilna and the surrounding area, which had previously been part of Poland, were returned to Lithuania. The Baltic republics within the USSR preserved their government bodies, language, and had representation in the higher state structures of the Soviet Union.
During all these months there was an ongoing invisible diplomatic and politico-military struggle and intelligence work. Moscow understood that it was facing a fierce and cruel enemy, and that a covert war against Nazism was already going on. And there is no reason to take official statements and formal protocol notes of that time as a proof of 'friendship' between the USSR and Germany. The Soviet Union had active trade and technical contacts not only with Germany, but with other countries as well. Whereas Hitler tried again and again to draw the Soviet Union into Germany's confrontation with the UK. But the Soviet government stood firm.
The last attempt to persuade the USSR to act together was made by Hitler during the visit of Molotov to Berlin in November 1940. But Molotov accurately followed Stalin's instructions and limited himself to a general discussion of the German idea of the Soviet Union joining the Tripartite Pact signed by Germany, Italy and Japan in September 1940 and directed against the UK and the USA. No wonder that already on November 17 Molotov gave the following instructions to Soviet plenipotentiary representative in London Ivan Maisky: "For your information No agreement was signed or was intended to be signed in Berlin. We just exchanged our views in Berlin and that was all Apparently, the Germans and the Japanese seem anxious to push us towards the Gulf and India. We declined the discussion of this matter as we consider such advice on the part of Germany to be inappropriate ." And on November 25 the Soviet leadership called it a day altogether by officially putting forward to Berlin the conditions that were unacceptable to the Nazis, including the withdrawal of German troops from Finland, mutual assistance treaty between Bulgaria and the USSR, and a number of others. Thus it deliberately excluded any possibility of joining the Pact. Such position definitely shaped the Fuehrer's intention to unleash a war against the USSR. And already in December, putting aside the warnings of his strategists about the disastrous danger of having a two-front war, Hitler approved the Barbarossa Plan. He did this with the knowledge that the Soviet Union was the major force that opposed him in Europe and that the upcoming battle in the East would decide the outcome of the world war. And he had no doubts as to the swiftness and success of the Moscow campaign.
And here I would like to highlight the following: Western countries, as a matter of fact, agreed at that time with the Soviet actions and recognized the Soviet Union's intention to ensure its national security. Indeed, back on October 1, 1939 Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty back then, in his speech on the radio said, "Russia has pursued a cold policy of self-interest But that the Russian armies should stand on this line [the new Western border is meant] was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace." On October 4, 1939 speaking in the House of Lords British Foreign Secretary Halifax said, " it should be recalled that the Soviet government's actions were to move the border essentially to the line recommended at the Versailles Conference by Lord Curzon I only cite historical facts and believe they are indisputable." Prominent British politician and statesman D. Lloyd George emphasized, "The Russian armies occupied the territories that are not Polish and that were forcibly seized by Poland after the First World War It would be an act of criminal insanity to put the Russian advancement on a par with the German one."
In informal communications with Soviet plenipotentiary representative Maisky, British diplomats and high-level politicians spoke even more openly . On October 17, 1939 Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs R. A. Butler confided him that the British government circles believed there could be no question of returning Western Ukraine and Belarus to Poland. According to him, if it had been possible to create an ethnographic Poland of a modest size with a guarantee not only of the USSR and Germany, but also of Britain and France, the British government would have considered itself quite satisfied. On October 27, 1939, Chamberlain's senior advisor H.Wilson said that Poland had to be restored as an independent state on its ethnographic basis, but without Western Ukraine and Belarus.
It is worth noting that in the course of these conversations the possibilities for improving British-Soviet relations were also being explored. These contacts to a large extent laid the foundation for future alliance and anti-Hitler coalition. Churchill stood out among other responsible and far-sighted politicians and, despite his infamous dislike for the USSR, had been in favour of cooperating with the Soviets even before. Back in May 1939, he said in the House of Commons, "We shall be in mortal danger if we fail to create a grand alliance against aggression. The worst folly would be to drive away any natural cooperation with Soviet Russia." And after the start of hostilities in Europe, at his meeting with Maisky on October 6, 1939 he confided that there were no serious contradictions between the UK and the USSR and, therefore, there was no reason for strained or unsatisfactory relations. He also mentioned that the British government was eager to develop trade relations and willing to discuss any other measures that might improve the relationships.
The Second World War did not happen overnight, nor did it start unexpectedly or all of a sudden. And German aggression against Poland was not out of nowhere. It was the result of a number of tendencies and factors of the world policy of that time. All pre-war events fell into place to form one fatal chain. But, undoubtedly, the main factors that predetermined the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind were state egoism, cowardice, appeasement of the aggressor who was gaining strength, and unwillingness of political elites to search for a compromise.
Therefore, it is unfair to claim that the two-day visit to Moscow of Nazi Foreign Minister Ribbentrop was the main reason for the start of the Second World War. All the leading countries are to a certain extent responsible for its outbreak. Each of them made fatal mistakes, arrogantly believing that they could outsmart others, secure unilateral advantages for themselves or stay away from the impending world catastrophe. And this short-sightedness, the refusal to create a collective security system cost millions of lives and tremendous losses.
Saying this, I by no means intend to take on the role of a judge, to accuse or acquit anyone, let alone initiate a new round of international information confrontation in the historical field that could set countries and peoples at loggerheads. I believe that it is academics with a wide representation of respected scientists from different countries of the world who should search for a balanced assessment of what happened. We all need the truth and objectivity. On my part, I have always encouraged my colleagues to build a calm, open and trust-based dialogue, to look at the common past in a self-critical and unbiased manner. Such an approach will make it possible not to repeat the errors committed back then and to ensure peaceful and successful development for years to come.
However, many of our partners are not yet ready for joint work. On the contrary, pursuing their goals, they increase the number and the scope of information attacks against our country, trying to make us provide excuses and feel guilty, and adopt thoroughly hypocritical and politically motivated declarations. Thus, for example, the resolution on the Importance of European Remembrance for the Future of Europe approved by the European Parliament on 19 September 2019 directly accused the USSR together with the Nazi Germany of unleashing the Second World War. Needless to say, there is no mention of Munich in it whatsoever.
I believe that such 'paperwork' – for I cannot call this resolution a document – which is clearly intended to provoke a scandal, is fraught with real and dangerous threats. Indeed, it was adopted by a highly respectable institution. And what does that show? Regrettably, this reveals a deliberate policy aimed at destroying the post-war world order whose creation was a matter of honour and responsibility for States a number of representatives of which voted today in favour of this deceitful resolution. Thus, they challenged the conclusions of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the efforts of the international community to create after the victorious 1945 universal international institutions. Let me remind you in this regard that the process of European integration itself leading to the establishment of relevant structures, including the European Parliament, became possible only due to the lessons learnt form the past and its accurate legal and political assessment. And those who deliberately put this consensus into question undermine the foundations of the entire post-war Europe.
Apart from posing a threat to the fundamental principles of the world order, this also raises certain moral and ethical issues. Desecrating and insulting the memory is mean. Meanness can be deliberate, hypocritical and pretty much intentional as in the situation when declarations commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War mention all participants in the anti-Hitler coalition except for the Soviet Union. Meanness can be cowardly as in the situation when monuments erected in honour of those who fought against Nazism are demolished and these shameful acts are justified by the false slogans of the fight against an unwelcome ideology and alleged occupation. Meanness can also be bloody as in the situation when those who come out against neo-Nazis and Bandera's successors are killed and burned. Once again, meanness can have different manifestations, but this does not make it less disgusting.
Neglecting the lessons of history inevitably leads to a harsh payback. We will firmly uphold the truth based on documented historical facts. We will continue to be honest and impartial about the events of World War II. This includes a large-scale project to establish Russia's largest collection of archival records, film and photo materials about the history of World War II and the pre‑war period.
Such work is already underway. Many new, recently discovered or declassified materials were also used in the preparation of this article . In this regard, I can state with all responsibility that there are no archive documents that would confirm the assumption that the USSR intended to start a preventive war against Germany. The Soviet military leadership indeed followed a doctrine according to which, in the event of aggression, the Red Army would promptly confront the enemy, go on the offensive and wage war on enemy territory. However, such strategic plans did not imply any intention to attack Germany first.
Of course, military planning documents, letters of instruction of Soviet and German headquarters are now available to historians. Finally, we know the true course of events. From the perspective of this knowledge, many argue about the actions, mistakes and misjudgment of the country's military and political leadership. In this regard, I will say one thing: along with a huge flow of misinformation of various kinds, Soviet leaders also received true information about the upcoming Nazi aggression. And in the pre-war months, they took steps to improve the combat readiness of the country, including the secret recruitment of a part of those liable for military duty for military training and the redeployment of units and reserves from internal military districts to western borders.
The war did not come as a surprise, people were expecting it, preparing for it. But the Nazi attack was truly unprecedented in terms of its destructive power. On June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union faced the strongest, most mobilized and skilled army in the world with the industrial, economic and military potential of almost all Europe working for it. Not only the Wehrmacht, but also German satellites, military contingents of many other states of the European continent, took part in this deadly invasion.
The most serious military defeats in 1941 brought the country to the brink of catastrophe. Combat power and control had to be restored by extreme means, nation-wide mobilization and intensification of all efforts of the state and the people. In summer 1941, millions of citizens, hundreds of factories and industries began to be evacuated under enemy fire to the east of the country. The manufacture of weapons and munition, that had started to be supplied to the front already in the first military winter, was launched in the shortest possible time, and by 1943, the rates of military production of Germany and its allies were exceeded. Within six months, the Soviet people did something that seemed impossible. Both on the front lines and the home front. It is still hard to realize, understand and imagine what incredible efforts, courage, dedication these greatest achievements were worth.
The tremendous power of Soviet society, united by the desire to protect their native land, rose against the powerful, armed to the teeth, cold-blooded Nazi invading machine. It stood up to take revenge on the enemy, who had broken, trampled peaceful life, people's plans and hopes.
Of course, fear, confusion and desperation were taking over some people during this terrible and bloody war. There were betrayal and desertion. The harsh split caused by the revolution and the Civil War, nihilism, mockery of national history, traditions and faith that the Bolsheviks tried to impose, especially in the first years after coming to power – all of this had its impact. But the general attitude of the absolute majority of Soviet citizens and our compatriots who found themselves abroad was different – to save and protect the Motherland. It was a real and irrepressible impulse. People were looking for support in true patriotic values.
The Nazi "strategists" were convinced that a huge multinational state could easily be brought to heel. They thought that the sudden outbreak of the war, its mercilessness and unbearable hardships would inevitably exacerbate inter-ethnic relations. And that the country could be split into pieces. Hitler clearly stated: "Our policy towards the peoples living in the vastness of Russia should be to promote any form of disagreement and division".
But from the very first days, it was clear that the Nazi plan had failed. The Brest Fortress was protected to the last drop of blood by its defenders of more than 30 ethnicities. Throughout the war, the feat of the Soviet people knew no national boundaries – both in large-scale decisive battles and in the protection of every foothold, every meter of native land.
The Volga region and the Urals, Siberia and the Far East, the republics of Central Asia and Transcaucasia became home to millions of evacuees. Their residents shared everything they had and provided all the support they could. Friendship of peoples and mutual help became a real indestructible fortress for the enemy.
The Soviet Union and the Red Army, no matter what anyone is trying to prove today, made the main and crucial contribution to the defeat of Nazism. These were heroes who fought to the end surrounded by the enemy at Bialystok and Mogilev, Uman and Kiev, Vyazma and Kharkov. They launched attacks near Moscow and Stalingrad, Sevastopol and Odessa, Kursk and Smolensk. They liberated Warsaw, Belgrade, Vienna and Prague. They stormed Koenigsberg and Berlin.
We contend for genuine, unvarnished, or whitewashed truth about war. This national, human truth, which is hard, bitter and merciless, has been handed down to us by writers and poets who walked through fire and hell of front trials. For my generation, as well as for others, their honest and deep stories, novels, piercing trench prose and poems have left their mark in my soul forever. Honoring veterans who did everything they could for the Victory and remembering those who died on the battlefield has become our moral duty.
And today, the simple and great in its essence lines of Alexander Tvardovsky's poem "I was killed near Rzhev " dedicated to the participants of the bloody and brutal battle of the Great Patriotic War in the center of the Soviet-German front line are astonishing. Only in the battles for Rzhev and the Rzhevsky Salient from October 1941 to March 1943, the Red Army lost 1,154, 698 people, including wounded and missing. For the first time, I call out these terrible, tragic and far from complete figures collected from archive sources. I do it to honor the memory of the feat of known and nameless heroes, who for various reasons were undeservingly, and unfairly little talked about or not mentioned at all in the post-war years.
Let me cite you another document. This is a report of February 1954 on reparation from Germany by the Allied Commission on Reparations headed by Ivan Maisky. The Commission's task was to define a formula according to which defeated Germany would have to pay for the damages sustained by the victor powers. The Commission concluded that "the number of soldier-days spent by Germany on the Soviet front is at least 10 times higher than on all other allied fronts. The Soviet front also had to handle four-fifths of German tanks and about two-thirds of German aircraft." On the whole, the USSR accounted for about 75 percent of all military efforts undertaken by the anti-Hitler coalition. During the war period, the Red Army "ground up" 626 divisions of the Axis states, of which 508 were German.
On April 28, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his address to the American nation: "These Russian forces have destroyed and are destroying more armed power of our enemies – troops, planes, tanks, and guns – than all the other United Nations put together". Winston Churchill in his message to Joseph Stalin of September 27, 1944, wrote "that it is the Russian army that tore the guts out of the German military machine ".
Such an assessment has resonated throughout the world. Because these words are the great truth, which no one doubted then. Almost 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives on the fronts, in German prisons, starved to death and were bombed, died in ghettos and furnaces of the Nazi death camps. The USSR lost one in seven of its citizens, the UK lost one in 127, and the USA lost one in 320. Unfortunately, this figure of the Soviet Union's hardest and grievous losses is not exhaustive. The painstaking work should be continued to restore the names and fates of all who have perished – Red Army soldiers, partisans, underground fighters, prisoners of war and concentration camps, and civilians killed by the death squads. It is our duty. And here, members of the search movement, military‑patriotic and volunteer associations, such projects as the electronic database "Pamyat Naroda", which contains archival documents, play a special role. And, surely, close international cooperation is needed in such a common humanitarian task.
The efforts of all countries and peoples who fought against a common enemy resulted in victory. The British army protected its homeland from invasion, fought the Nazis and their satellites in the Mediterranean and North Africa. American and British troops liberated Italy and opened the Second Front. The US dealt powerful and crushing strikes against the aggressor in the Pacific Ocean. We remember the tremendous sacrifices made by the Chinese people and their great role in defeating Japanese militarists. Let us not forget the fighters of Fighting France, who did not fall for the shameful capitulation and continued to fight against the Nazis.
We will also always be grateful for the assistance rendered by the Allies in providing the Red Army with ammunition, raw materials, food and equipment. And that help was significant – about 7 percent of the total military production of the Soviet Union.
The core of the anti-Hitler coalition began to take shape immediately after the attack on the Soviet Union where the United States and Britain unconditionally supported it in the fight against Hitler's Germany. At the Tehran conference in 1943, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill formed an alliance of great powers, agreed to elaborate coalition diplomacy and a joint strategy in the fight against a common deadly threat. The leaders of the Big Three had a clear understanding that the unification of industrial, resource and military capabilities of the USSR, the United States and the UK will give unchallenged supremacy over the enemy.
The Soviet Union fully fulfilled its obligations to its allies and always offered a helping hand. Thus, the Red Army supported the landing of the Anglo-American troops in Normandy by carrying out a large-scale Operation Bagration in Belarus. In January 1945, having broken through to the Oder River, it put an end to the last powerful offensive of the Wehrmacht on the Western Front in the Ardennes.
Three months after the victory over Germany, the USSR, in full accordance with the Yalta agreements, declared war on Japan and defeated the million-strong Kwantung Army.
Back in July 1941, the Soviet leadership declared that the purpose of the War against fascist oppressors was not only the elimination of the threat looming over our country, but also help for all the peoples of Europe suffering under the yoke of German fascism. By the middle of 1944, the enemy was expelled from virtually all of the Soviet territory. However, the enemy had to be finished off in its lair. And so the Red Army started its liberation mission in Europe. It saved entire nations from destruction and enslavement, and from the horror of the Holocaust. They were saved at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives of Soviet soldiers.
It is also important not to forget about the enormous material assistance that the USSR provided to the liberated countries in eliminating the threat of hunger and in rebuilding their economies and infrastructure. That was being done at the time when ashes stretched for thousands of miles all the way from Brest to Moscow and the Volga. For instance, in May 1945, the Austrian government asked the USSR to provide assistance with food, as it "had no idea how to feed its population in the next seven weeks before the new harvest." The state chancellor of the provisional government of the Austrian Republic Karl Renner described the consent of the Soviet leadership to send food as a saving act that the Austrians would never forget.
The Allies jointly established the International Military Tribunal to punish Nazi political and war criminals. Its decisions contained a clear legal qualification of crimes against humanity, such as genocide, ethnic and religious cleansing, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. Directly and unambiguously, the Nuremberg Tribunal also condemned the accomplices of the Nazis, collaborators of various kinds.
This shameful phenomenon manifested itself in all European countries. Such figures as Pétain, Quisling, Vlasov, Bandera, their henchmen and followers – though they were disguised as fighters for national independence or freedom from communism – are traitors and slaughterers. In inhumanity, they often exceeded their masters. In their desire to serve, as part of special punitive groups they willingly executed the most inhuman orders. They were responsible for such bloody events as the shootings of Babi Yar, the Volhynia massacre, burnt Khatyn, acts of destruction of Jews in Lithuania and Latvia.
Today as well, our position remains unchanged – there can be no excuse for the criminal acts of Nazi collaborators, there is no statute of limitations for them. It is therefore bewildering that in certain countries those who are smirched with cooperation with the Nazis are suddenly equated with the Second World War veterans. I believe that it is unacceptable to equate liberators with occupants. And I can only regard the glorification of Nazi collaborators as a betrayal of the memory of our fathers and grandfathers. A betrayal of the ideals that united peoples in the fight against Nazism.
At that time, the leaders of the USSR, the United States, and the UK faced, without exaggeration, a historic task. Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill represented the countries with different ideologies, state aspirations, interests, cultures, but demonstrated great political will, rose above the contradictions and preferences and put the true interests of peace at the forefront. As a result, they were able to come to an agreement and achieve a solution from which all of humanity has benefited.
The victorious powers left us a system that has become the quintessence of the intellectual and political quest of several centuries. A series of conferences – Tehran, Yalta, San Francisco and Potsdam – laid the foundation of a world that for 75 years had no global war, despite the sharpest contradictions.
Historical revisionism, the manifestations of which we now observe in the West, and primarily with regard to the subject of the Second World War and its outcome, is dangerous because it grossly and cynically distorts the understanding of the principles of peaceful development, laid down at the Yalta and San Francisco conferences in 1945 . The major historic achievement of Yalta and other decisions of that time is the agreement to create a mechanism that would allow the leading powers to remain within the framework of diplomacy in resolving their differences.
The twentieth century brought large-scale and comprehensive global conflicts, and in 1945 the nuclear weapons capable of physically destroying the Earth also entered the scene. In other words, the settlement of disputes by force has become prohibitively dangerous. And the victors in the Second World War understood that. They understood and were aware of their own responsibility towards humanity.
The cautionary tale of the League of Nations was taken into account in 1945. The structure of the UN Security Council was developed in a way to make peace guarantees as concrete and effective as possible. That is how the institution of the permanent members of the Security Council and the right of the veto as their privilege and responsibility came into being.
What is veto power in the UN Security Council? To put it bluntly, it is the only reasonable alternative to a direct confrontation between major countries. It is a statement by one of the five powers that a decision is unacceptable to it and is contrary to its interests and its ideas about the right approach. And other countries, even if they do not agree, take this position for granted, abandoning any attempts to realize their unilateral efforts. So, in one way or another, it is necessary to seek compromises.
A new global confrontation started almost immediately after the end of the Second World War and was at times very fierce. And the fact that the Cold War did not grow into the Third World War has become a clear testimony of the effectiveness of the agreements concluded by the Big Three. The rules of conduct agreed upon during the creation of the United Nations made it possible to further minimize risks and keep confrontation under control.
Of course, we can see that the UN system currently experiences certain tension in its work and is not as effective as it could be. But the UN still performs its primary function. The principles of the UN Security Council are a unique mechanism for preventing a major war or global conflict.
The calls that have been made quite often in recent years to abolish the veto power, to deny special opportunities to permanent members of the Security Council are actually irresponsible. After all, if that happens, the United Nations would in essence become the League of Nations – a meeting for empty talk without any leverage on the world processes. How it ended is well known. That is why the victorious powers approached the formation of the new system of the world order with utmost seriousness seeking to avoid repetition of the mistakes of their predecessors.
The creation of the modern system of international relations is one of the major outcomes of the Second World War. Even the most insurmountable contradictions – geopolitical, ideological, economic – do not prevent us from finding forms of peaceful coexistence and interaction, if there is the desire and will to do so. Today the world is going through quite a turbulent time. Everything is changing, from the global balance of power and influence to the social, economic and technological foundations of societies, nations and even continents. In the past epochs, shifts of such magnitude have almost never happened without major military conflicts. Without a power struggle to build a new global hierarchy. Thanks to the wisdom and farsightedness of the political figures of the Allied Powers, it was possible to create a system that has restrained from extreme manifestations of such objective competition, historically inherent in the world development.
It is a duty of ours – all those who take political responsibility and primarily representatives of the victorious powers in the Second World War – to guarantee that this system is maintained and improved. Today, as in 1945, it is important to demonstrate political will and discuss the future together. Our colleagues – Mr. Xi Jinping, Mr. Macron, Mr. Trump and Mr. Johnson – supported the Russian initiative to hold a meeting of the leaders of the five nuclear-weapon States, permanent members of the Security Council. We thank them for this and hope that such a face-to-face meeting could take place as soon as possible.
What is our vision of the agenda for the upcoming summit? First of all, in our opinion, it would be useful to discuss steps to develop collective principles in world affairs. To speak frankly about the issues of preserving peace, strengthening global and regional security, strategic arms control, as well as joint efforts in countering terrorism, extremism and other major challenges and threats.
A special item on the agenda of the meeting is the situation in the global economy. And above all, overcoming the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Our countries are taking unprecedented measures to protect the health and lives of people and to support citizens who have found themselves in difficult living situations. Our ability to work together and in concert, as real partners, will show how severe the impact of the pandemic will be, and how quickly the global economy will emerge from the recession. Moreover, it is unacceptable to turn the economy into an instrument of pressure and confrontation. Popular issues include environmental protection and combating climate change, as well as ensuring the security of the global information space.
The agenda proposed by Russia for the upcoming summit of the Five is extremely important and relevant both for our countries and for the entire world. And we have specific ideas and initiatives on all the items.
There can be no doubt that the summit of Russia, China, France, the United States, and the UK can play an important role in finding common answers to modern challenges and threats, and will demonstrate a common commitment to the spirit of alliance, to those high humanist ideals and values for which our fathers and grandfathers were fighting shoulder to shoulder.
Drawing on a shared historical memory, we can trust each other and must do so. That will serve as a solid basis for successful negotiations and concerted action for the sake of enhancing the stability and security on the planet and for the sake of prosperity and well-being of all States. Without exaggeration, it is our common duty and responsibility towards the entire world, towards the present and future generations.
Vladimir Putin serves as President of the Russian Federation.
Jun 30, 2020 | www.veteranstoday.com
By Andre Vltchek for VT
Lying about world history is one of the main weapons of the Western imperialists, through which they are managing to maintain their control of the world.
European and North American countries are inventing and spreading a twisted narrative about almost all essential historic events, be they colonialism, crusades, or genocides committed by the Western expansionism in all corners of the globe.
One of the vilest fabrications has been those which were unleashed against the young Soviet Union, a country that emerged from the ruins of the civil war fueled by the European, North American, and Japanese imperialist interests. Foreign armies and local violent gangs were destroying countless cities and villages, robbing, raping, and murdering local people. But determined acts to restore order and elevate the Soviet Union from its knees, dramatically improving lives of tens of millions, was termed in a derogatory way as "Stalinism". The label of brutality was soon skillfully attached to it.
Next came the Great Patriotic War (for the Soviets), or what is also known as the Second World War.
The West miscalculated, hoping that Nazi Germany would easily destroy the Soviet Union, and with it, the most determined Communist revolution on earth.
But Germany had, obviously, much bigger goals. While brutalizing Soviet lands, it also began committing crimes against humanity all over Europe, doing precisely what it used to do in its African colonies, decades earlier, which was, basically, exterminating entire nations and races.
While the United States first hesitated to intervene (some of its most powerful individuals like Henry Ford were openly cooperating with the German Nazis), the European nations basically collapsed like the houses of cards.
Then, unthinkable took place: indignant, injured but powerful, enormous the Soviet Union stood up, raised, literally from ashes. Kursk and Stalingrad fought as no cities ever fought before, and neither did Leningrad, withstanding 900 years of blockade. There, surrender was not an option: people preferred to eat glue and plywood, fighting hunger, as long as fascist boots were not allowed to step on the pavement of their stunningly beautiful city.
In Leningrad, almost all men were dead before the siege was lifted. Women went to the front, including my grandmother, and they, almost with bare hands repelled the mightiest army on earth.
They did it for their city. And for the entire world. They fought for humanity, as Russia did so many times in the past, and they won, at a tremendous cost of more than 25 million soldiers, civilians, men, women, and children.
Then, Soviet divisions rolled Eastwards, liberating Auschwitz, Prague, planting the red Soviet flag on top of Reichstag in Berlin.
The world was saved, liberated. By Soviet people and Soviet steel.
The end of a monstrous war! Entire Soviet cities in ruins. Villages burned to ashes.
But new war, a Cold War, a true war against colonialism, for the liberation of Africa and Asia was already beginning! And the internationalist war against racism and slavery.
No, such narrative could never be allowed to circulate in the West, in its colonies and client states! Stalin, Soviet Union, anti-colonialist struggle – all had to be smeared, dragged through the dirt!
That smearing campaign first against the Soviet Union and then against Russia was conducted all over Europe, and it gained tremendous proportions.
Mass media has been spreading lies, and so were schools and universities.
The foulest manipulations were those belittling decisive role of the USSR in the victory against Nazi Germany. But Western propaganda outlets also skillfully and harmfully re-wrote the entire history of the Soviet Union, portraying it in the most nihilist and depressing ways, totally omitting tremendous successes of the first Communist country, as well as its heroic role in the fight against the global Western colonialism and imperialism.
Since the end of WWII, Italy has been in the center of the ideological battle, at least when it comes to Europe.
With its powerful Communist Party, almost all great Italian thinkers and artists were either members or at least closely affiliated with the Left. Partisans who used to fight fascism were clearly part of the Left.
Would it not be for the brutal interference in Italy's domestic politics by the U.S. and U.K., the Italian Communist Party would have easily won the elections, democratically, right during the post-war period.
Relations between the Italian and Soviet/Russian people were always excellent: both nations inspired and influenced each other, greatly, particularly when it comes to arts and ideology.
However, like in the rest of Europe, the mainstream media, the propaganda injected by the Anglo-Saxon polemicists and their local counterparts, had a huge impact and eventually damaged great ties and understanding between two nations.
Especially after destruction of the Soviet Union, Italian Left began experiencing a long period of profound crises and confusion.
Anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda started finding fertile ground even in such historical bastions of the Italian Left like Bologna.
With the arrival of the 5 Star Movement and the radical, traditional Left-wing fractions concealed inside it, the millions of Italian citizens began waking up from their ideological lethargy.
I witnessed it when speaking at the legendary Sapienza University in Rome, shoulder to shoulder with professor Luciano Vasapollo, a great thinker and former political prisoner.
I was impressed by young Italian filmmakers, returning to Rome from Donbas, arranging countless political happenings in support of Russia.
Rome was boiling. People forgotten by history were resurfacing, while the young generation was joining them. My friend Alessandro Bianchi and his increasingly powerful magazine, L'Antidiplomatico, were bravely standing by Venezuela and Cuba, but also by Russia and China.
Still, Mr. Bianchi kept repeating:
"These days, very few Italians understand what happened during WWII. It is a tragedy, real tragedy "
And then, recently, L'Antidiplomatico informed me that it will be publishing, in order to celebrate the April 25 and May 9 anniversaries, an essential book put together by the Soviet Information Bureau, by the academics, with notes and inside information by Joseph Stalin. It was fired right after the end of WWII: "Falsifiers of History. Historic Information." (In Russian: " Fal'sifikatory istorii. Istoriceskaja spravka .")
Now in Italian, the book will be called " Contro la falsificazione della storia ieri e oggi " ( Fabrizio Poggi: "Against the Falsification of History Yesterday and Today").
The powerful editorial work of Mr. Poggi is unveiling the truth, and counter-attacking the Western Anti-Soviet propaganda.
Throughout this work, "The Anglo-American claims about the alleged Berlin-Moscow union against the 'western democracies' and a "secret pact between the USSR and Hitler to divide all of Eastern Europe" were clearly dismantled. The falsity of the rhetoric which is repeatedly used today in virtually all Western countries is exposed here, step by step.
Ale Bianchi, the publisher, explains:
"The translation presented here is preceded by an introduction, edited by Poggi himself, which mentions the main issues of the period before the Second World War: Polish-German relations, the role of France and Great Britain and their relations with the USSR, Munich Conference, etc., all used by Western propagandists to advance the theory of "equal responsibility" of Nazi Germany and the USSR for the outbreak of the Second World War."
I asked Mr. Bianchi about the main purpose of launching the book in Italy, and he answered without hesitation:
"To defeat the anti-Soviet propaganda and also propaganda related to the Second World War."
In many ways, Fabrizio Poggi's " Against the Falsification of History Yesterday and Toda y"), is not just a book. It is a movement, which will consist of discussions, lectures, interviews.
Top Italian intellectuals will, no doubt, participate. Many essential topics will be revisited. The truth will be revealed.
This could be a new chapter in cooperation between the Italian and Russian thinkers and progressive leaders, in their common struggle for a better world!
[First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook – a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences]
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Six of his latest books are " New Capital of Indonesia ", " China Belt and Road Initiative", " China and Ecological Civilization" with John B. Cobb, Jr., " Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism", a revolutionary novel "Aurora" and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: " Exposing Lies Of The Empire ". View his other books here . Watch Rwanda Gambit , his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky "On Western Terrorism" . Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and Latin America, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website , his Twitter and his Patreon .
Jun 30, 2020 | www.amazon.com
Although a critical analysis of Russia and its political system is entirely legitimate, the issue is the balance of such analysis. Russia's role in the world is growing, yet many U.S. politicians feel that Russia doesn't matter in the global arena. Preoccupied with international issues, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, they find it difficult to accept that they now have to negotiate and coordinate their international policies with a nation that only yesterday seemed so weak, introspective, and dependent on the West. To these individuals, Russophobia is merely a means to pressure the Kremlin into submitting to the United States in the execution of its grand plans to control the world's most precious resources and geostrategic sites. In the meantime, Russia has grown increasingly resentful, and the war in the Caucasus in August 2008 has demonstrated that Russia is prepared to act unilaterally to stop what it views as U.S. unilateralism in the former Soviet region.
And some in Moscow are tempted to provoke a much greater confrontation with Western states. The attitude of ignorance and self-righteousness toward Russia tells us volumes about the United States' lack of preparation for the twenty-first century's central challenges that include political instability, weapons proliferation, and energy insecurity.
Despite the dislike of Russia by a considerable number of American elites, this attitude is far from universally shared. Many Americans understand that Russia has gone a long way from communism and that the overwhelming support for Putin's policies at home cannot be adequately explained by high oil prices and the Kremlin's manipulation of the public -- despite the frequent assertions of Russophobic observers. Balanced analysts are also aware that many Russian problems are typical difficulties that nations encounter with state-building, and should not be presented as indicative of Russia's "inherent drive" to autocracy or empire. As the United States and Russia move further to the twenty-first century, it will be increasingly important to redefine the relationship between the two nations in a mutually enriching way.
Political and cultural phobias are, of course, not limited to those of an anti-Russian nature For instance, Russia has its share of America-phobia -- a phenomenon that I have partly researched in my book Whose World Order (Notre Dame, 2004) and in several articles. Anti-American attitudes are strongly present in Russian media and cultural products, as a response to the U.S. policies of nuclear, energy, and military supremacy in the world.
Extreme hegemonic policies tend to provoke an extreme response, and Russian nationalist movements and often commentators react harshly to what they view as unilateral encroachment on Russia's political system and foreign policy interests. Russia's reactions to these policies by the United States are highly negative and frequently inadequate, but hardly more extreme than the American hegemonic and imperial discourse.
The Anti-Russian Lobby
When the facile optimism was disappointed. Western euphoria faded, and Russophobia returned ... The new Russophobia was expressed not by the governments, but in the statements of out-of-office politicians, the publications of academic experts, the sensational writings of jour- nalists, and the products of the entertainment industry. (Rodric Bmithwaite, Across the Moscow River, 2002)1
Russophobia is not a myth, not an invention of the Red-Browns, but a real phenomenon of political thought in the main political think tanks in the West . . . |T]he Yeltsin-Kozyrev's pro-U.S. "giveaway game" was approved across the ocean. There is reason to say that the period in ques- tion left the West with the illusion that Russia's role was to serve Washington's interests and that it would remain such in the future. (Sergei Mikoyan, International Affairs [October 20061)2
This chapter formulates a theory of Russophobia and the anti-Russian lobby's influence on the U.S. Russia policy. I discuss the Lobby's objec- tives, its tactics to achieve them, the history of its formation and rise to prominence, and the conditions that preserved its influence in the after- math of 9/11.1 argue that Russophobia has been important to American hegemonic elites in pressuring Russia for economic and political conces- sions in the post-Cold War era.
The central objective of the Lobby has been to preserve and strengthen America's power in the post-Cold War world through imperial or hege- monic policies. The Lobby has viewed Russia with its formidable nucleai power, energy reserves, and important geostrategic location as a major obstacle in achieving this objective.
Even during the 1990s, when Russia looked more like a failing state3 than one capable of projecting power, some members of the American political class were worried about the future revival of the Eurasian giant as a revisionist power. In their percep- tion, it was essential to keep Russia in a state of military and economic weakness -- not so much out of emotional hatred for the Russian people and their culture, but to preserve American security and promote its values across the world. To many within the Lobby, Russophobia became a useful device for exerting pressures on Russia and controlling its policies. Although to some the idea of undermining and, possibly, dismembering Russia was personal, to others it was a necessity of power dictated by the realities of international politics.
According to this dominant vision, there was simply no place in this "New American Century" for power competitors, and America was destined eventually to assume control over potentially threatening military capabilities and energy reserves of others. As the two founders of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), William Kristol and Robert Kagan, asserted when referring to the large military forces of Russia and China, "American statesmen today ought to recognize that their charge is not to await the arrival of the next great threat, but rather to shape the international environment to prevent such a threat from arising in the first place."4 Russia was either to agree to assist the United States in preserving its world-power status or be forced to agree. It had to either follow the U.S. interpretation of world affairs and develop a political and economic system sufficiently open to American influences or live as a pariah state, smeared by accusations of pernicious behavior, and in constant fear for its survival in the America-centered world. As far as the U.S. hegemonic elites were concerned, no other choice was available.
This hegemonic mood was largely consistent with mainstream ideas within the American establishment immediately following the end of the Cold War. For example, 1989 saw the unification of Germany and the further meltdown of the Soviet Union, which some characterized as "the best period of U.S. foreign policy ever."5 President Jimmy Carter's former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski envisioned the upcoming victory of the West by celebrating the Soviet Union's "grand failure."6 In his view, the Soviet "totalitarian" state was incapable of reform.
Communism's decline was therefore irreversible and inevitable. It would have made the system's "practice and its dogma largely irrelevant to the human conditions," and communism would be remembered as the twentieth century's "political and intellectual aberration."7 Other com- mentators argued the case for a global spread of Western values. In 1990 Francis Fukuyama first formulated his triumphalist "end of history" thesis, arguing a global ascendancy of the Western-style market democracy.
The impact of structural and institutional factors is further reinforced by policy factors, such as the divide within the policy community and the lack of presidential leadership. Not infrequently, politicians tend to defend their personal and corporate interests, and lobbying makes a difference in the absence of firm policy commitments.
Experts recognize that the community of Russia watchers is split and that the split, which goes all the way to the White House, has been responsible for the absence of a coherent policy toward the country. During the period of 2003-2008, Vice President Richard Dick Cheney formed a cohesive and bipartisan group of Russia critics, who pushed for a more confrontational approach with the Kremlin. The brain behind the invasion of Iraq, Cheney could not tolerate opposition to what he saw as a critical step in establishing worldwide U.S. hegemony. He was also harboring the idea of controlling Russia's energy reserves.91 Since November 2004, when the administration launched a review of its policy on Russia,92
Cheney became a critically important voice in whom the Lobby found its advocate. Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and, until November 2004, Colin Powell opposed the vice president's approach, arguing for a softer and more accommodating style in relations with Moscow.
President Bush generally sided with Rice and Powell, but he proved unable to form a consistent Russia policy. Because of America's involvement in the Middle East, Bush failed to provide the leadership committed to devising mutually acceptable rules in relations with Russia that could have prevented the deterioration in their relationship. Since the end of 2003, he also became doubtful about the direction of Russia's domestic transformation.93 As a result, the promising post-9/11 cooperation never materialized.
... ... ...
The "New Cold War" and the American Sense of History
It's time we start thinking of Vladimir Putin's Russia as an enemy of the United States.
(Brer Stephens, "Russia: Vie Enemy," The Wall Street Journal, November 28,2006)
If todays reality of Russian politics continues ... then there is the real risk that Russia's leadership will be seen, externally and internally, as illegitimate. (John Edwards and Jack Kemp, "We Need to Be Tough with Russia," International Herald Tribune, July 12, 2006)
On Iran, Kosovo, U.S. missile defense, Iraq, the Caucasus and Caspian basin, Ukraine -- the list goes on -- Russia puts itself in conflict with the U.S. and its allies . . . here are worse models than the united Western stand that won the Cold War the first time around. ("Putin Institutionalized," Vie Wall Street Journal, November 19,2007)
In order to derail the U.S.-Russia partnership, the Lobby has sought to revive the image of Russias as an enemy of the United States. The Russophobic groups have exploited important differences between the two countries' historical self-perceptions, presenting those differences as incompatible.
1. Contested History Two versions of history
The story of the Cold War as told from the U.S. perspective is about American ideas of Western-style democracy as rescued from the Soviet threat of totalitarian communism. Although scholars and politicians disagreed over the methods of responding to the Soviet threat, they rarely questioned their underlying assumptions about history and freedom.1 It therefore should not come as surprise that many in the United States have interpreted the end of the Cold War as a victory of the Western freedom narrative. Celebrating the Soviet Union's "grand failure" -- as Zbigniew Brzezinski put it2 -- the American discourse assumed that from now on there would be little resistance to freedom's worldwide progression. When Francis Fukuyama offered his bold summary of these optimistic feelings and asserted in a famous passage that "what we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War ... but the end of history as such,"3 he meant to convey the disappearance of an alternative to the familiar idea of freedom, or "the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government."4
In Russia, however, the Cold War story has been mainly about sovereignty and independence, rather than Western-style liberalism. To many Russians it is a story of freedom from colonization by the West and of pre- serving important attributes of sovereign statehood. In a world where neocolonialism and cultural imperialism are potent forces, the idea of freedom as independence continues to have strong international appeal and remains a powerful alternative to the notion of liberal democracy. Russians formulated the narrative of independence centuries ago, as they successfully withstood external invasions from Napoleon to Hitler. The defeat of the Nazi regime was important to the Soviets because it legit- imized their claims to continue with the tradition of freedom as independence. The West's unwillingness to recognize the importance of this legitimizing myth in the role of communist ideology has served as a key reason for the Cold War.
Like their Western counterparts, the Soviets were debating over methods but not the larger assumptions that defined their struggle.
This helps to understand why Russians could never agree with the Western interpretation of the end of the Cold War. What they find missing from the U.S. narrative is the tribute to Russia's ability to defend its freedom from expansionist ambitions of larger powers. The Cold War too is viewed by many Russians as a necessarily defensive response to the West's policies, and it is important that even while occupying Eastern Europe, the Soviets never celebrated the occupation, emphasizing instead the war victory.6
The Russians officially admitted "moral responsibility" and apologized for the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia.7
They may be prepared to fully recognize the postwar occupation of Eastern Europe, but only in the context of the two sides' responsibility for the Cold War.
Russians also find it offensive that Western VE Day celebrations ignore the crucial contribution of Soviet troops, even though none of the Allies, as one historian put it, "paid dearer than the Soviet Union for the victory. Forty Private Ivans fell in battle to every Private Ryan."8 Victory over Nazi Germany constitutes, as another Russian wrote, "the only undisputable foundation of the national myth."9
Toward an agreeable history
If the two sides are to build foundations for a future partnership, the two historical narratives must be bridged. First, it is important to recognize the difficulty of negotiating a common meaning of freedom and accept that the idea of freedom may vary greatly across nations. The urge for freedom may be universal, but its social content is a specific product of national his- tories and local circumstances. For instance, the American vision of democracy initially downplayed the role of elections and emphasized selection by merit or meritocracy. Under the influence of the Great Depression, the notion of democracy incorporated a strong egalitarian and poverty-fighting component, and it was not until the Cold War -- and not without its influence -- that democracy has become associated with elections and pluralistic institutions.10
Second, it is essential to acknowledge the two nations' mutual responsibility for the misunderstanding that has resulted in the Cold War. A his- torically sensitive account will recognize that both sides were thinking in terms of expanding a territorial space to protect their visions of security. While the Soviets wanted to create a buffer zone to prevent a future attack from Germany, the Americans believed in reconstructing the European continent in accordance with their ideas of security and democracy. A mutual mistrust of the two countries' leaders exacerbated the situation, making it ever more difficult to prevent a full-fledged political confrontation.
Western leaders had reason to be suspicious of Stalin, who, in his turn, was driven by the perception of the West's greed and by betrayals from the dubious Treaty of Versailles to the appeasement of Hitler in Munich. Arrangements for the post-World War II world made by Britain, the USSR, and the United States proved insufficient to address these deep-seated suspicions. In addition, most Eastern European states created as a result of the Versailles Treaty were neither free nor democratic and collaborated with Nazi Germany in its racist and expansionist policies. The European post-World War I security system was not working properly, and it was only a matter of time before it would have to be transformed.
Third, if an agreeable historical account is to emerge, it would have to accept that the end of the Cold War was a product of mutually beneficial...
... ... ..
..."it also does not want the reversal of the U.S. geopolitical gains that it made in the decade or so after the end of the Cold War."112 Another expert asked, "What possible explanation is there for the fact that today -- at a moment when both the U.S. and Russia face the common enemy of Islamist terrorism -- hard-liners within the Bush administration, and especially in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, are arguing for a new tough line against Moscow along the lines of a scaled-down Cold War?""3
Yet another analyst wrote "at the Cold War's end, the United States was given one of the great opportunities of history: to embrace Russia, the largest nation on earth, as partner, friend, ally. Our mutual interests meshed almost perfectly. There was no ideological, territorial, his- toric or economic quarrel between us, once communist ideology was interred. We blew it. We moved NATO onto Russia's front porch, ignored her valid interests and concerns, and, with our 'indispensablenation' arrogance, treated her as a defeated power, as France treated Weimar Germany after Versailles."114
The Chechnya "Oppressor" and U.S. Objectives in the Caucasus
[Russians] fight brutally because that is part of the Russian military
ethos, a tradition of total war fought with every means and without
moral restraints. (Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 1999)
The Chechen issue is delaying the post-imperial transformation of Russia. It is not only delaying it, it is helping to reverse it. And this is why one should care. (Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Catastrophe in Chechnya: Escaping the Quagmire, n 2004)
In Chechnya, our basic morality is at stake. ... [T]he Russian government is suppressing the liberties gained when the Soviet empire col-1. Decolonization or State-Building?
lapsed? The Chechen war both masks and motivates the reestablishment of a central power in Russia. (Andri Glucksmann et ai, "End the Silence Over Chechnya, n 2006)
The decolonization narrative
One way to make sense of Russia's problems in the Caucasus is to view them as a continuation of the imperial disintegration set in motion by Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms. Western advocates of this perspective often believe that not only the Soviet Union but Russia too is responsible for oppressing non-Russian nationalities and religions, including Islam.
Russia is perceived as not principally different from the British, French, or Portuguese colonial empires, and Chechnya as indicative of a larger trend toward the breakup of the Russian empire. This narrative is popular in Western media and academia, partly because it brings to mind the heroic Chechen resistance to Russia in the nineteenth century. 1 To many left-leaning observers, even violence is justified when it is directed against Anglo-Saxon and European oppressors, and when it aims to advance the self-determination denied to their colonial subjects. To Americans, this argument carries additional weight, in part because the United States was not directly involved in the West's colonial practices.
A recent example of the decolonization narrative is the book by Tony Wood, the deputy editor of the New Left Review, in which he makes a case for Chechnya's independence. 2 Wood documents the history of Chechen resistance beginning with the nineteenth century and argues that, as with the case of Algeria under the French, ethnic Russians held prominent jobs and controlled key political positions in the northern Caucasus. 3 He further asserts that, although Chechens had not developed their own institutions of elites under Soviet rule, the situation there in the 1990s was hardly more corrupt or chaotic than in other parts of the former USSR, and therefore the threat of Islamic terrorism in the northern Caucasus is an overstatement. 4 What Chechens lacked from Russia was humane treatment, a willingness to negotiate an international recognition of their independence claims, rather than a war waged against them. Wood maintains that if the West had provided such recognition early enough, the disastrous military intervention by Moscow, as well as attempts to isolate Chechnya economically, might have been prevented.
The conservative version of the decolonization argument is similar, but it places a greater emphasis on the Russian people and their "oppressive and imperialist" political culture, viewing colonial institutions as a direct extension of this imperial mindset. For instance, Richard Pipes, who also compared Chechnya to Algeria, insisted on independence as the only way to prevent Russia's further territorial disintegration. 5 Zbigniew Brzezinski was even more blunt in holding "die Russians" responsible for depriving Chechens of their own political institutions, 6 as well as assuming that Russian attitudes and behavior since Stalin's deportation of Chechens and other nationalities
had not changed.
In Anatol Lieven's words, "The condemnation of Stalinism by Nikita Khrushchev, the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev, the peaceful Soviet withdrawal from Poland, the Russian recognition of the independence of the other Soviet republics -- all this is ignored." 7 What Western geopoliticians seem to be especially concerned about is a possible revival of a Russian statehood, which they view as equivalent to an empire. 8
Upon a closer scrutiny, the decolonization argument is difficult to sustain. The zero-sum approach -- either empire or hill independence -- fails to recognize the most important challenge faced by the modern state, which is how to accommodate minorities and guarantee their rights without undermining the political viability and territorial integrity of the state itself.
As scholars have argued, international law recognizes the right to secession, but it also abhors the unilateral redrawing of borders. 9 Self-determination is not viable if it comes at the cost of political instability, state disintegration, and violation of human rights, which are all too evident in Chechnya. Even more problematic is the assumption that Russians and Chechens are culturally incompatible or, as one scholar puts it, "it is hard to think of a more likely pair of candidates for historical enmity than the Russian government and the Chechens." 10
The Imperatives of state-building and Russia as a weak state
A more productive way to understand Russia is to see it as a nation that has relinquished the Soviet state model and is now struggling to establish new political and economic foundations of statehood. The post-Soviet Russia is a new state because it acts under new international conditions that no longer accept traditional patterns of imperial domination. However, Russia's long history as an empire and its complex relations with non-Russian nationalities make creating a new power-sharing mechanism in the region a challenge.
Russia's historical relations with Chechnya include a long nineteenth-century war to subjugate Chechnya's warriors to the tsar's imperial rule, as well as Stalin's mass deportation of Chechens to Central Asia in 1944. Still, it is misleading to present these relations exclusively as a historical confrontation." For instance, despite the Stalinist perception, most Chechens did not collaborate with Hitler during World War II, and in fact fought bravely on the Soviet side.
The tsar of Russia trusted Chechens enough to hire them as his bodyguards, and Chechens served in some of the most selective Soviet battalions. Many Chechen intellectuals also shared Mikhail Gorbachev's vision of democratic reform and the peaceful coexistence of diverse nationalities within the framework of a single Soviet state. The overall story of the two peoples' relationship is far too complex to be described as a "conflict of civilizations" or, to quote former Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov, a "war [that] has been continuing for more than 400 years." 12
During the Perestroika years -- as viewed by some Chechens themselves 13 -- the democratic idea was hijacked by criminal elites and ethno-nationalists who saw a secessionist opportunity in the decline of the Soviet state, and who prevailed in imposing their own political agenda.
Jun 30, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.comdiv One of distinctive features, the hallmark of neocons who dominate the USA foreign policy establishment is rabid, often paranoid Russophobia which includes active, unapologetic support of separatist movements within Russia.And what is your evidence for claiming that the EU and USA want to break up Russia into 'smaller statelets'? That smells a bit fishy. It would make the world a more dangerous place.One of distinctive features, the hallmark of neocons who dominate the USA foreign policy establishment is rabid, often paranoid Russophobia which includes active, unapologetic support of separatist movements within Russia.
The same is true about GB.
I think the evidence of the USA and EU (especially GB, but also Poland, Sweden, and Germany) multi-level (PR, MSM, financial, diplomatic and sometimes military) support of Islamic separatists in Russia is well known: support of separatist movements in Russia is just a continuation of the support of separatist movement within the USSR, which actually helped to blow up the USSR from within (along the key role of KGB changing sides along with a part of Politburo who deciding to privatize Russia's economy)
Here is old but still relevant list of "who is who" in the USA foreign policy establishment in promoting separatism in Russia. You will see many prominent neocons in the list.
The foreign policy of the USA toward Russia to a considerable extent is driven by emigres from Eastern Europe and people who were accepted to the USA before and, especially, after WWII from filtration camps. This "diaspora lobby" includes older generation of emigrants such as late Brzezinski, Madeline Allbright, as well as more recent such as Farkas, Chalupa, Appelebaum, etc. The same is true for Canada (Freeland). All of them are rabid, sometimes paranoid (Brzezinski) Russophobs. They consistently use the USA as a leverage to settle the "ancient hatred".
Jun 30, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.comdiv Russia problems
@The Twisted Genius | 29 June 2020 at 03:55 PM
Many here seem to think Russia is a nation totally separate from the now-defunct Soviet Union, that Russia is incapable or unwilling to engage in the seamier aspects of realpolitik like all other nations. Funny, Putin does not ascribe to this view. A short time ago, someone posted a link to a lecture by the KGB defector, Yuri Bezmenov
Bezmenov was trying to please the new owners. Russia does not have resources to engage like USA in Full Spectrum Dominance games. Like Obama correctly said, Russia now is a regional power.
Also, why bother to do petty dirty tricks in Afghanistan, if an internal fight between two factions of the neoliberal elite, is a really bitter and dirty fight. You cannot do better than neoliberal Dems in weakening and dividing the country. Why spend money, if you can just wait.
The enormity of problems within Russia itself also excludes any possibilities of trying to emulate the imperial behavior of the USA and CIA dirty tricks. Russia does not have the printing press for the world reserve currency, which the USA still has.
And Putin is the first who understands this precarious situation, mentioning this limitation several times in his speeches. As well as the danger of being pushed into senseless arms race with the USA again by the alliance of the USA neocons and Russian MIC, which probably would lead to similar to the USSR results -- the further dissolution of Russia into smaller statelets. Which is a dream of both the USA and the EU, for which they do not spare money.
Russia is a very fragile country -- yet another neoliberal country with a huge level of inequality and a set of very severe problems related to the economy and "identity politics" (or more correctly "identity wedge"), which both EU and the USA is actively trying to play. Sometimes very successfully.
Ukraine coup d'etat was almost a knockdown for Putin, at least a powerful kick in the chin; it happened so quick and was essentially prepared by Yanukovich himself with his pro-EU and pro-nationalist stance. Being a sleazy crook, he dug the grave for his government mostly by himself.
Now the same game can be repeated in Belorussia as Lukachenko by-and-large outlived his usefulness, and like most autocratic figures created vacuum around himself -- he has neither viable successor, not the orderly, well defined process of succession; but economic problems mounts and mounts. This gives EU+USA a chance to repeat Ukrainian scenario, as like in Ukraine, years of independence greatly strengthened far-right nationalist forces (which BTW were present during WWII ; probably in less severe form than in Ukraine and Baltic countries but still were as difficult to suppress after the war). Who, like all xUUSR nationalists are adamantly, pathologically anti-Russian. That's where Russia need to spend any spare money, not Afghanistan.
Currently, the personality of Putin is kind of most effective guarantee of political stability in Russia, but like any cult of personality, this cannot last forever, and it might deprive Russia of finding qualified successor.
But even Putin was already burned twice with his overtures to Colonel Qaddafi(who after Medvedev's blunder in the UN was completely unable to defend himself against unleashed by the West color revolution), and Yanukovich, who in addition to stupidly pandering to nationalists and trying to be the best friend of Biden proved to be a despicable coward, making a color revolution a nobrainer.
After those lessons, Putin probably will not swallow a bait in a form of invitation to be a "decider" in Afghanistan.
So your insinuations that Russian would do such stupid, dirty and risky tricks are not only naive, they are completely detached from the reality.
The proper way to look at it is as a kind of PR or even false flag operation which was suggested by David Habakkuk:
...we are dealing with yet another of the collusive 'information operations' practised by incompetent and corrupt elements in the 'deep state' in the U.S., U.K. and Western Europe.
Jun 30, 2020 | www.amazon.com
by A. Tsygankov (Author)
"The author painstakingly reconstructs and analyzes most visible expressions of Russophobia in various segments of American political class. . . [and] convincingly shows that Russia-hostile elites hold images of Moscow s eternal authoritarianism at home and permanent imperialism abroad." - Mirovaya Ekonomika i Mezhdunarodnyye Otnosheniya (World Economy and International Relations), No. 4, 2001, pp. 113-116
"The book s chapters deal with, among other topics, the Chechen wars, democracy promotion and energy policies. It is also important that this interpretation comes from a Russian-born political scientist who lives in the US and knows American discourse and politics well. Tsygankov s deep knowledge of both Russian affairs and camps and trends in US politics adds considerable value to this analysis. . . . this dense description of, and spirited attack on, Western rhetoric and policies regarding Russia will be a valuable addition and original contribution to seminars in such fields as international security, post-Soviet affairs and US foreign policy." - Europe-Asia Studies
"Although many works about anti-Americanism in Russia existed already, until now there was a lack of an approach that focused on Russophobia from an American perspective. . . Tsygankov s [book] provides the missing piece. . . This type of analysis opens the door for more comparative analysis of different "phobias" in international relations - Sinophobia, Islamophobia, Europhobia, etc. - and the tone of this book certainly inspires the further research of them that we would all benefit from." - Critique internationale
"In this stimulating and insightful book, Andrei Tsygankov shows how fear and loathing of Russia s political system as fundamentally incompatible with the interests and values of the West have distorted American popular perceptions of Russia and misguided U.S. policies toward the former Soviet Union. Arguing for a reorientation of U.S. attitudes and policies, Tsygankov calls for engagement, reciprocity, and patience as the keys to improving relations with an enormous, resource-rich, and strategically important country." - David S. Foglesong, Associate Professor of History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and author of The American Mission and the "Evil Empire"
"Andrei Tsygankov is one of the most profound analysts of both the rational and the irrational aspects of the US-Russian relationship. His searching, provocative book is an indispensable contribution to scholarship and to the debate on US policy towards Russia." - Professor Anatol Lieven, King's College LondonAbout the Author ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV is Professor at the Departments of Political Science and International Relations, San Francisco State University, USA.
- Paperback: 260 pages
- Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st ed. 2009 edition (November 9, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1349378410Stretching "Russophobia"
3.0 out of 5 stars Stretching "Russophobia" Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2010
An analysis like Andrei P. Tsygankov's book was sorely needed. However, I am not sure that Tsygankov will fully reach with this text what he seemingly wanted to attain - namely, an effective, noted and, above all, consequential critique of US attitudes towards Russia during the last decade. Tsygankov has, to be sure, done a great deal of investigative work. He details many episodes that illustrate well where US policy or opinion makers have gone wrong. The book's chapters deal with, among other topics, the Chechen wars, democracy promotion, and energy policies. It is also important that this interpretation comes from a Russia-born political scientist who lives in the US and knows American discourse and politics well. Tsygankov's deep knowledge of both, Russian affairs as well as camps and trends in US politics, adds considerable value to this analysis.
Yet, already the title of the book indicates where Tsygankov may be defeating his purpose. By way of classifying most of US-American critique of Russia as "Russophobia", Tsygankov goes, at least in terms of the concepts and words that he uses to interpret these phenomena, a bit too far. Tsygankov asserts that Russophobia is a major intellectual and political trend in US international thought and behaviour. He also tries to make the reader believe that there exists a broad coalition of political commentators and actors that form an anti-Russian lobby in Washington.
It is true that there is a lot to be criticised and improved in Western approaches towards post-Soviet Russia - and towards the non-Western world, in general. US behaviour vis-à-vis, and American comments on, Russia, for the last 20 years, have all too often been characterized by incompetence and insensitivity regarding the daunting challenges and far-reaching consequences of the peculiarly post-Soviet political, cultural and economic transformation. Often, Russian-American relations have been hampered by plain inattention among US decision and opinion makers - a stunning phenomenon in view of the fact that Russia has kept being and will remain a nuclear superpower, for decades to come. The hundreds of stupidities that have been uttered on, and dozens of mistakes in US policies towards, Russia needed to be chronicled and deconstructed. Partly, Tsygankov has done that here with due effort, interesting results and some interpretative success. Yet, Tsygankov does not only talk about failures and omissions regarding Russia. He also speaks of enemies of the Russian state in the US, and their supposed alliances as well various dealings.
Certainly, there is the occasional Russophobe in Washington and elsewhere, in the Western world. Among such personage, there are even some who are indeed engaged in an anti-Russian political lobbying of sorts. However, the circle of activists who truly deserve to be called "Russophobes" largely contains immigrants from the inner or outer Soviet/Russian empire. These are people who have their own reasons to be distrustful of, or even hostile towards, Russia. After the rise of Vladimir Putin and the Russian-Georgian War, many of them, I suspect, feel that they have always been right, in their anti-Russian prejudices. In any way, this is a relatively small group of people who are more interested in the past and worried about the future of their newly independent nation-states than they are concerned about the actual fate of Russia herself.
Among those who are interested in Russia there are many, as Tsygankov aptly documents, who have recently been criticizing the Russian leadership harshly. Some of them have, in doing so, exerted influence on Western governments and public opinion. And partly such critique was, indeed, unjustified, unbalanced or/and counterproductive. But is that enough to assert that there is an "anti-Russian lobby"? What would such a lobby gain from spoiling US-Russian relationships? Who pays these lobbyists, and for what? Who, apart from a few backward-looking East European émigrés, is sufficiently interested in a new fundamental Russian-Western confrontation so as to conduct the allegedly concerted anti-Russian campaigns that Tsygankov appears to be discovering, in his book? Dalton C. Rocha 9 years ago Report abuse Less than one hundred years ago, there was more than ten Russians for each Brazilian. In 1991, there was more Brazilians than Russians. Russia is in decadency since 1917. Please, keep Russia in peace, fighting against Islamics. Leave a replyRoobit 9 years ago (Edited) Report abuse I have no idea what is abstract West (though I can say there is a pedophile when I see one) but the point Tsygankov was trying to make is not existence of some paid lobby but widespread cultural and racial hatred of Russia that motivates Americans and American policies, and not abstract Western (I have no idea what that is, French, Portuguese, Brazilian, Slovak, Norwegian, Italian, City of Vatican?) attitudes and policies toward Russia. The author of the comment, a known and rather Russophobe himself, should know what I mean. Leave a reply Oliver L. 9 years ago Report abuse I appreciate your review (and I haven't read the book) but I think perhaps you are taking the existence of a Russophobic lobby too literally...as an American who reads and follows international politics and American foreign policy I think there is an overdeveloped reflex among many Americans to use Russia (regardless of the formal organization of its government i.e. czarist, communist or "democratic") as a political foil to everything "good" about American politics i.e. democracy, openness, empowerment of citizens, etc., that will not go away or even amerliorate until every last American politician, political scientist, etc. who grew up with personal memories of the Cold War is no longer professionally active.
It is similar to what exists in the Anglosphere at a cultural level vis-á-vis France/the French, and perhaps what Professors Mearsheimer and Walt were trying to describe about the "Israeli lobby"-not so much a formal organization but rather a pandemic mentality among a certain group which inevitably finds a multiplicity of ways to express itself (and thereby give the impression to some outside observers of being centrally organized).
Jun 28, 2020 | www.unz.com
Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
Biff , says: Show Comment June 28, 2020 at 7:41 am GMT
History-writing is a political act,
And a lucrative act.
Jun 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
JohninMK , 25 June 2020 at 03:57 PMEnjoy your updates. The MH17 trial is turning into an interesting indictment on Dutch justice. There is no beyond reasonable doubt evidence (No US satellite pictures as claimed by Biden, even within NATO to Dutch Intel) and the defence is not pushing that hard but have asked for the Russian General to be called to describe the BUK missile's documented life i. e. it came from Ukraine's stock.
So, on July 3rd the Judges have to decide whether to allow that evidence, which definitely puts the evidence less than reasonable double, or not allow it and convict the four defendants on insufficient evidence to meet Dutch Law, or allow them to go free.
Looks like they have a bit of a problem meeting the expectations of the US.
Oct 30, 2019 | www.fort-russ.com
Referencing the piece run here at Fort Russ on 27 October " Confessions of Maidan Snipers " by Darrol, here is the original confessions given to Italian journalist Gian Micalessin which transcript should closely match the testimony provided in the Belarus' courtroom, noted in the 27 October piece:
(With English subtitles) Italian investigative journalist Gian Micalessin interviews three snipers who shot the people in Maidan square. They were Georgians sent to Ukraine by security services people aligned with American allied-educated Mikhail Saakashvili. American mercenary Brian Christopher Boyenger ran the sniper operation on location. Expanded translation of the Italian (the video subtitles are abridged) below the video
transcript of parts one and two:
What the hell? Who is shooting? Somebody got shot! I can't believe it happened right here! A man standing right next to me just got shot!
It was at dawn, I heard sounds of gunshots as bullets were flying. Somebody got shot in the head by a sniper.
We were ordered to shoot at the police and protestors randomly.
Which location were the shots fired [from]? From the Ukraine Hotel?
The shooting was from the Ukraine Hotel.
Kyiv, February 2014. It is three months the Maidan square, in the heart of the capital, has been filled with protestors; who've been demanding the government and president, Victor Yanukovych, to sign an association agreement with the European Union.
On February 18th the clashes have become bloody, with about 30 casualties. The worst moment will be in the morning of February 20th. A group of unknown snipers began firing at protestors and police. In a short period of time up to 80 dead were counted.
The next day [February 21st, president] Yanukovych leaves the country. On February 22nd the opposition seizes power.
But who was shooting at the crowd and opposition?
To this very day, the official version from Kiev is the slaughter was conducted by the order of the Kremlin-backed [Yanukovych] government. This version seemed suspicious to many. The Foreign Minister of Estonia, Ermas Paet, was the first one to dispute this.
Returning from a trip to Kiev only 5 days after the massacre, [Paet] reported in a phone call to EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, revelations from a Ukrainian doctor who examined the cadavers of Maidan square. The intercepted phone call, published widely by the Russian media, is disconcerting.
"The most disturbing thing [Paet explains] is that all of the evidence points to the people killed by snipers, both police and people in the street, were killed by the same snipers."
Speaking with a clearly embarrassed Ashton, the foreign minister cites the testimony of the Ukrainian doctor:
"She speaks as a doctor, and says it is the same signature, the same kind of bullets. It is really disturbing that now the new coalition [Paet reaffirms] refuses to investigate what is really going on. There is a very strong conviction that they're are behind the snipers That it is not Yanukovych, but some of the new coalition "
After four years from the beginning at November 2013 of Maidan demonstrations, we are able to tell another truth, completely different from the official story. Our story begins towards the end of summer 2017, in Skopye, the capital of Macedonia. There, after long and complex negotiations, we met with Koba Nergadze and Kvarateskelia Zalogy, two Georgian participants and witnesses in the tragic shootings and massacre.
Both Nergadze and Zalogy are linked to former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili , who started, in August 2008, a short but bloody war with Russia's Vladimir Putin. Nergadze, as proved by an identification card he holds, was a member of a security service at President Saakashvili's order. Zalogy is a former Saakashvili party activist.
"I decided to come to Skopije to tell you everything we know, about what happened and I and my friend have decided together, we need to shed some light on those facts," Nergadze says.
Nargadze also says Alexander Revazishvilli, [we met] a few months later, a former sniper of the Georgian army, participated in the Maidan shootout. [We] met in another Eastern European country.
All three of our participants say that they were recruited at the end of 2013 by Mamuka Mamulashvili, a Saakashvili military advisor who, after the Maidan action, will move to the Donbass, to lead the so-called Georgian Legion in clashes with ethnic Russian insurgents.
"The first meeting was with Mamulashvili [was] at the office of the National Movement," Zalogy said. "The Ukrainian uprising in 2013 was similar to the" Pink Revolution "that took place in Georgia years before. We had to direct and guide it using the same pattern used for the "Pink Revolution"
Alexander's version is no different. "Mamuka first asked me if I was really a trained sniper, Alexander recalls, [then] he immediately told me he needed me in Kiev to pick some places."
Our informants integrated to various groups of volunteers between November 2013 and January 2014, [after] receiving passports with false names, and money advances.
"We left on January 15, and on the plane, Zalogy remembers, I received my passport and another [passport] with my photo but with different name and surname. Then they gave us each a thousand dollars to begin, promising to give another five thousand more"
Once in Kiev, our three participants begin to understand better why they were recruited. "Our task, Alexander explains, was to arrange provocations to push the police to charge the crowd. Until the middle of February, however, there were not many weapons around. The Molotovs, the shields and the sticks were used to the maximum."
But in mid-February, clashes around Maidan begin to get worse. "About 15 and 16 February," Nergadze remembers, "the situation has begun to become more serious every day. It was out of control now. And in the meantime, the first shoots were heard. "With the rising of tensions, new players [would] come into play"
"One day around February 15, remembers Alexander, Mamualashvili personally visited our tent. There was another guy in his uniform with him. He introduced him and told us he was an instructor, an American soldier." The US military veteran Brian Christopher Boyenger, is a former officer and sniper for the 101st Airborne Division. After Maidan, [Boyenger] moves on to the Donbass front, where he will fight in the ranks of the Georgian Legion alongside Mamulashvili.
"We were always in touch with this Bryan, Nergadze explains, he was a Mamulashvili man. It was he who gave us the orders. I had to follow all his instructions"
The first suspects in the possession of firearms among the ranks of demonstrators, involve Serghey Pashinsky, a leader of Maidan Square, who became, after the fall of Yanukovych, chairman of the Kiev parliament.
On February 18, in a video made that day, a rifle locked in a car was recorded with video taken by a demonstrator, showing an automatic rifle. A few seconds after, Pashinsky approaches and orders the car be allowed to go. The next day, weapons were distributed to groups of Georgian and Lithuanian mercenaries residing in Hotel Ukraine, the hotel overlooking the square used as a headquarters by opposition.
"In those days, Pashinsky and three other people, including Parasyuk, had taken the weapons handbags to the hotel. They were going to get them into my room," Nergadze says.
Volodymyr Parasyuk is one of the leaders of the Maidan Square protest. After the massacre of demonstrators, he will become famous for an ultimatum in which he will threaten to use weapons to hunt President Viktor Yanukovych.
"On February 18, recalls Zalogy, someone took some weapons to my room. In the room with me there were two Lithuanians, the weapons were unpacked by them."
"In each bag, recalls Nergadze, there were Makarov's pistols, Akm automatics, carbines. And there were packages of cartridges. When I first saw them I did not understand . When Mamulashvili arrived, I also asked him. "What's going on," I told him, "what are these weapons? Is everything all right?
"Koba, things are getting complicated, we have to start shooting," he replied, "we can not go to the pre-election presidential elections " "But who should we shoot? And where? "I asked him." He replied that where he did not care, we had to shoot somewhere to sow some chaos."
"While Nergadze and Zalogy assisted in arms distribution at the hotel, Alexander Revazishvilli and other volunteers went to the Conservatory, another building overlooking the square. "It was February 16th Pashinsky ordered us to collect our belongings and bring them in Other people arrived, they were almost all masked.
"From their cases I understood they carried weapons . They pulled them out and handed them over to the various groups. Only Pashinsky was talking "He was giving orders. He asked me where we were supposed to shoot. " "In the meantime, explained Nergadze, even at the Ukraine hotel, the leaders of the revolt underlined the purpose of using the weapons.
"They explained to us to shoot to create chaos and confusion. We did not have to stop. It did not matter if we fired at a tree, a barricade, or a molotov. The important thing was to sow chaos. "
On the 20th, in the morning, the plan came into action. "It was supposed to be dawn," Zalogy remembers, "when I heard the sound of the shots they were not bursts, they were single strokes came from the next room. At that same time, the Lithuanians opened the window. One of them fired one shot while the other closed the window. They have fired three or four times everywhere."
Alexander, admitting he was involved in the shootout from the Conservatory building, claims to have understood very little. "Everyone started shooting two or three shots at a time. We did not have much choice. We were ordered to shoot both the Berkut, the police, and the demonstrators, no matter what. I was totally outraged. It went on for fifteen minutes maybe twenty. I was out of my mind, agitated, under stress, I did not understand anything. Then suddenly, after 15, 20 minutes the shooting ceased and everyone has put down the weapons. "
As wounded and dead arrived in the Ukrainian Hotel's reception, the snipers fled from the rooms. And so the victims found themselves next to their assassins.
"Inside, recalls Nergadze, "there was chaos, you did not understand who was who. People ran back and forth. Someone was hurt someone was armed. Outside was even worse. There were so many injured in the streets. And the many dead."
Alexander says he left in a hurry. "Someone was shouting that there were snipers, I knew what they were talking about," he said, "my only thought was to disappear before they knew about me. Otherwise, they had me. At that time, however, I did not realize, but now I understand. I do understand. We've been used. Used and discarded."color revolution Coup Georgia Maidan Saakashivili Snipers ukraine
Jun 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
START. Talks began in Vienna with a childish stunt by the American side . I wouldn't expect any results: the Americans are fatally deluded . As for the Russians: " We don't believe the U.S. in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever ".Russian has a word for that: недоговороспособны and it's characterised US behaviour since at least this event (in Obama's time). Can't make an agreement with them and, even if you do, they won't keep it.
Jun 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by John Helmer via Dances With Breas blog,
The Dutch Government has devised an evidence-proof scheme for ensuring the trial of the Russian government for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 will end in a conviction .
This scheme will work without evidence to prove that the four men accused of the crime of shooting down the aircraft, killing the 298 passengers and crew on board on July 17, 2014, intended to kill; or even intended to fire the missile which allegedly brought MH17 down.
The Dutch scheme is evidence-proof because no evidence will be needed, not from US satellite photographs which are missing; nor NATO airborne tracking which shows no missile; nor Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) evidence which has proved to have been fabricated, and in the case of Ukrainian witnesses for the prosecution, threatened, tortured or bribed.
The scheme is also evidence-proof because the Dutch Prime Minister has told the Dutch Minister of Justice to order the state prosecutors to tell the state-appointed judge that he must convict the Russians if he finds as proven that MH17 crashed to the ground in eastern Ukraine; that everyone on board was killed; and that the four soldiers accused – three Russians and one Ukrainian – were on the ground fighting.
International war crimes lawyers are calling this a legal travesty. It was presented in court near Amsterdam by Dutch state prosecutor Thijs Berger on June 10. It has gone unnoticed in the mainstream western media. Russian reporters following the trial have missed it. The scheme was first reported in English and Russian by a NATO propaganda unit on June 12.
As a prosecutor of the Dutch War Crimes Unit, a state entity, Berger has been employed in the past to prosecute the targets of wars fought by the Dutch, alongside NATO and the US, in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. In Europe his group prosecuted war crimes alleged by the NATO alliance in its war on Serbia from March to June of 1999. A recent report to which Berger contributed, entitled Universal Jurisdiction Annual Review 2019, identifies a case which Berger pursued of war crimes in Afghanistan; those alleged crimes were not of the US and allied forces in Afghanistan, but of the local Afghans defending themselves.
Prosecutor Thijs Berger announces the evidence-proof scheme of Article 168. The legal loophole is spelled out over six minutes – Min 3:31:00 to 3:37:00.
For his presentation to presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis, Berger read from a multi-page script authorized by his superiors in the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. They and he repeatedly made the mistake of calling the charges in the prosecution's indictment – Articles 168, 287 and 298 – provisions of the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure. This is the procedure code; its provisions are called articles in the original Dutch, but sections in the English version.
The charges of the indictment are from the Dutch Criminal Code. They are called articles in court; they are called articles in the Dutch statute but sections in the official English translation.
Source: The Dutch Criminal Code
For analysis of how the prosecution has manipulated both the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure in the MH17 trial preliminaries, read this .
"The scope of the indictment," Berger began his legal argument, is that together, the four defendants -- Igor Girkin (Strelkov), Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov, who are Russians, and Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian – played "a steering, organizing, and supporting role in deploying the BUK-Telar [missile and radar unit]" to shoot down MH 17 (Min 3:25:22). They were members of an "armed group" engaged in "armed struggle, the purpose being to shoot down an aircraft" (Min 3:27:20-21).
Note the indefinite article – an aircraft. The prosecution is charging the four with capital crimes for defending themselves from attack by the Ukrainian Air Force. This, however, is not mentioned by the prosecution.
"They are not being prosecuted," Berger went on, "as the persons who actually carried out the firing process" (Min 3:38:22). "We do not need evidence as to the exact cause of events in order to be able to judge the accused" (Min 3:28:27). Homicide or murder, Berger conceded, is in Dutch law "death caused intentionally" (Min 3:29:15). But the crimes which must be judged by Steenhuis and his panel of The Hague District Court, he claims aren't homicide in the usual legal sense. "The exact course of events need not be established" (Min 3:30:43), Berger told Steenhuis. So the prosecution does not need to prove what happened. "That the missile which hit the MH17 could possibly have been meant and intended for a military aircraft doesn't change these facts" (Min 3:31:17).
" None of the charges in the indictment requires intention concerning the civilian nature of the aircraft or the occupants. The crimes in the indictment forbid the downing of any aircraft; this is Article 168 of the Code of Criminal Procedure [sic]; and also forbid causing the deaths of others under Articles 287 and 289 irrespective of whether the aircraft has a military or civilian status, and an error in the target doesn't really make a difference for the evidence that these crimes have been committed. So no evidence is required that the accused should have had the intention to shoot down a civilian aircraft" (Min 3:32:00).
"It was their intention to down a military aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force" (Min 3:32:28), Berger claims his evidence of the SBU telephone tapes and witnesses proves.
"Those who intend to shoot down a military aircraft and subsequently, accidentally, hit a civilian aircraft are guilty of causing an aircraft to crash according to Article 168 of the Code of Criminal Procedure [sic]; but also guilty of murder of the occupants according to Article 289 of the Code of Criminal Procedure [sic]" (Min 3:33:04).
In a regular court of law in England, Australia, Canada or the US, a prosecutor's legal argument is always presented with explicit references to the case law. That's the accumulation of judgements by courts going back as far as the history of the crime and of the statute can be traced. These are the precedents which, in international law and in Dutch law too, must be followed by judges hearing cases to which these precedents apply. This reflects the accepted notion that law is cumulative, and that judges administer and interpret that law; they don't issue personal opinions or preferences.
Berger didn't identify any Dutch case law or provide the court with precedents in previous cases decided by the Dutch courts.
The reason is that there are none , explains a veteran Dutch judge who was asked this week to identify the case law on Article 168. The judge replied: "It's sufficient to establish that the defendant had the intention to take down some aircraft and that he should have seriously taken into consideration the chance that he would hit an aircraft such as the MH-17. That's called conditional intent -- voorwaardelijk opzet in Dutch Answering this question [of precedents] took a bit more time. I couldn't find any case law that would be relevant to the issue. Article 168 is not used very often."
Conditional intent doesn't exist in Anglo-American law. But in Dutch law, the concept has not (repeat never) been applied to cases of warfare, or in situations of military engagement where men are attacking and defending themselves. For a Dutch review of the court precedents for application of voorwaardelijk opzet to deaths caused by a drunk driver and a poisoning, read this – Sect. 3.3.1. Fatal traffic offences committed by drunken drivers are the typical homicides in which Dutch prosecutors apply the doctrine of conditional intent; the case law and precedents are reviewed here . No Dutch lawyer, judge or court has ever applied this to warfare.
Berger knows this; so does Steenhuis. They also know there is voluminous case law in the international courts dealing with similar facts to those of the MH17 case and of the combat in which the four defendants were engaged; for a sample Dutch law review, read this .
Again, Berger ignored what no prosecutor outside The Netherlands would attempt in front of a judge. "We are aware," Berger told Steenhuis, "of academic comments that imply that Article 168 would require intention in killing civilians [Min 3:33:04]. But this is incorrect. Article 168 does not require any intention for the death of the occupants" (Min 3:33:34).
The NATO propaganda unit Bellingcat repeated this claim in a publication two days after Berger's presentation. The Article 168 argument, repeated from Berger's script, will prove to be a "boomerang" for the Russian government, NATO officials are now claiming. "It is only a question of time, therefore, that the Dutch prosecution brings murder charges against Russian top military commanders. Unlike the case with the 4 defendants, they would easily have obtained combatant immunity, if only they – and their supreme commander – had admitted to being part of the war. But they – and he – continuously denied, and this alone makes immunity impossible. Also unlike the 4 defendants, the political price that Russia will pay such indictments will be much higher. It is one thing for 3 Russian 'volunteers', forgotten by most, to spend the rest of their life holed up at home and afraid to take any trip abroad. It's an altogether different story when top Mod [Ministry of Defence] and FSB officials – and maybe even a minister – are charged with murder of 298 civilians and end up on the Interpol red-notice list."
International lawyers already before the European Court of Human Rights are arguing that the "boomerang" strikes the government in Kiev first, because it was ordering combat in eastern Ukraine, including orders for bombing and strafing by the Ukrainian Air Force, and at the same time refusing to close the airspace to civilian aircraft. The case of Denise Kenke, on behalf of her father, MH17 victim Willem Grootscholten, explains .
Canadian war crimes attorney Christopher Black (right) says the Dutch prosecution is deliberately ignoring Dutch law, as well as international law.
"What Berger is stating is a case of criminal negligence, not murder. The general principles of criminal law apply to this case as much as to any case. As for the burden of proof, the court has to be convinced on the basis of the lawful evidence presented that the accused has committed the crime he is accused of."
Black is pointing out that the prosecution's evidence from the Ukrainian SBU is unlawful. For analysis of evidence tampering by the SBU, read more .
"'Any person who intentionally and unlawfully' -- that's the key phrase in the wording of Article 168. Its use there means specific intent. Specific intent . A general intent to use missiles on something is not good enough in this case. It is telling that [Berger] does not make the distinction between specific intent versus general intent. That indicates the prosecutors don't think they can prove the necessary specific intent. And if the plane had been shot down by the accused thinking it was engaged in an attack on them or masking [a Ukrainian Air Force] attack on them, then the court cannot convict. That's because the facts would show an accident or a justifiable act of self-defence."
In Dutch courts, there are several of what are called "full defences" to indictments for murder. One is insanity; another  is duress. Self-defence is the third full defence; it is spelled out in Article 41 of the Criminal Code:
European lawyers observing the MH17 trial have noted that Berger failed to mention that. They interpret this as an indication the prosecution already believes Judge Steenhuis has decided on conviction.
"The term 'unlawfully' is used in Article 168", Black continues, "because there may be situations where at sea, for example, a vessel has to be grounded or sunk because it is a danger to other shipping or to the crew -- or to save the crew. It's harder to think of a plane that must be crashed for a comparable reason. But one can anticipate the scenario – for example, when men on the ground believe on reasonable grounds that an aircraft was about to bomb them – when attacking the plane would not be considered unlawful because it is self-defence."
" So the Dutch prosecutors are trying to prove there was an intent [to fire at an aircraft] and therefore they did it, even if there is no evidence they did. I didn't realise courts dealt in smoking guns. They ought to be dealing in hard evidence. The fact that someone fantasizes about a woman and she ends up getting pregnant and then she has a miscarriage can't be turned into the accusation against the man of intent to make her pregnant, and then of causing her miscarriage, and so guilty of bodily harm."
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Likbez, June 24, 2020 at 4:02 am GMT
Only a complete and utter incompetent (or a rabid Ukrainian nationalist) can call Ukraine an independent state. It is de-facto a colony of the West. A debt slave.
I applaud the US response of supporting Ukraine's aspirations for a freer, more Western-oriented country and that it continues to support Ukraine's territorial interests over those of Russia's.
This was not about supporting Ukrainian aspirations for a freer, more Western-oriented country. It is about kicking out Russia from Ukrainian markets and plundering Ukraine all by themselves. Mainly by Germany and the USA -- to major players of Euromaydan color revolution. For Germans this is return to "Drang nach Osten" on a new level, on the level of neoliberal neocolonialism.
They used Western nationalists as their fifth column, but Western Ukrainian suffered from the results no less then people in Eastern Ukraine. Many now try to move to Kiev, Kiev region and further East in order to escape poverty and unemployment. Seasonal labor to Russia (mainly builders) diminished rapidly. Train communication now is blocked, and for Western Ukraine only Poland now represents a chance to earn money for the family to survive the winter.
For the USA this is first of all about selling Ukraine expensive weaponry, wasting precious Ukrainian resources on permanent hostility with Russia (with Donbas conflict as a real win to further the USA geopolitical ambitions -- in line with the "Full spectrum dominance" doctrine) , cornering Ukrainian energy market (uranium supplies for power stations, etc.), destruction, or buy-out of a few competing industries other than extracting industries and maquiladoras, getting better conditions for the EU exports and multinationals operating in Ukraine (and initially with plans for re-export products to Russia tax free) and increasing the country debt to "debt slave" level.
In other words this is a powerful kick in a chin by Obama to Putin. Not a knockdown, but very close.
For Ukraine first of all that means rapid accumulation of a huge external debt -- conditions of economic slavery, out of which there is no escape. Ukrainian people paid a very dear price for their Euromaydan illusions. They became mass slave labor in Poland. Prostitutes in Germany. Seasonal picker of fruits in some other EU countries (GB, France). A new European blacks, so to speak.
The level of fleecing Ukraine by the USA after Euromaidan can be compared only with fleecing of Libya. The currency dropped 300%, and 80% Ukrainians now live in abysmal poverty, while neoliberal oligarchs allied with the West continue to plunder the country. Gold reserves were moved to the USA.
If I had to choose between two colonizers, I probably would prefer Russians. They are still colonizers, but they are less ruthless and brutal colonizers.
Alfred , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2020 at 7:45 am GMT@likbez If I had to choose between two colonizers, I probably would prefer Russians. They are still colonizers, but they are less ruthless and brutal colonizers.
I agree with 90% of what you wrote, but I would like to correct the above.
Russia heavily subsidised Ukrainian energy imports for decades – gas and oil. In a similar fashion, Russia is doing this with Belarus until the present time. Russia is the only possible consumer of what Ukraine used to manufacture – a market that has disappeared. Gas turbines used to be made in Ukraine. Now, this has moved to Russia. Of course, the skilled Ukrainians went to Russia with their know-how.
To the best of my knowledge the USSR was the only empire that actually subsidized its colonies – Poland, East Germany, Ukraine etc. Russia is far better off without them.
Ukrainian supermarkets are overflowing with French/German/Italian products. European supermarkets are devoid of Ukrainian products.
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Robjil , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 10:21 pm GMT@Druid55 That is the western MSM sugared up version of what happened in Yugoslavia. Western MSM learned their lesson about being truthful about war when US and friends were in Vietnam.
Lies and lies only come from western MSM these days so wars and regime change games can go on with anyone noticing or caring.
Western MSM notifies their puppet readers that all the US and friends does is "humanitarian" stuff these days. Most puppet readers lap up this junk.
March 24, 1999 will go down in history as a day of infamy. US-led NATO raped Yugoslavia. Doing so was its second major combat operation.
It was lawless aggression. No Security Council resolution authorized it. NATO's Operation Allied Force lasted 78 days.
Washington called it Operation Noble Anvil. Evil best describes it. On June 10, operations ended.
From March 1991 through mid-June 1999, Balkan wars raged. Yugoslavia "balkanized" into seven countries. They include Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia.
Enormous human suffering was inflicted. Washington bears most responsibility.
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 2:21 pm GMT"So the difference between neocons and liberal interventionists is one of style rather than substance. And, by either yardstick all-in-all, Trump looks pretty good, but there has nevertheless been a resurgence of neocon-think in his administration. "Agent76 , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 2:22 pm GMT
This "just" in: "War is the health of the state" Randolph Bourne https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randolph_BourneApr 27, 2017 This Is Already Putting an End to the Age of Globalization and Bankrupting the United States (2004)
For a major power, prosecution of any war that is not a defense of the homeland usually requires overseas military bases for strategic reasons. After the war is over, it is tempting for the victor to retain such bases and easy to find reasons to do so. February 26, 2015 The Neoconservative Threat To World Order
Scholars from Russia and from around the world, Russian government officials, and the Russian people seek an answer as to why Washington destroyed during the past year the friendly relations between America and Russia that President Reagan and President Gorbachev succeeded in establishing.
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
likbez , says: Show Comment June 24, 2020 at 4:02 am GMT@Mr. Hack Only a complete and utter incompetent (or a rabid Ukrainian nationalist) can call Ukraine an independent state. It is de-facto a colony of the West. A debt slave.
I applaud the US response of supporting Ukraine's aspirations for a freer, more Western-oriented country and that it continues to support Ukraine's territorial interests over those of Russia's.
This was not about supporting Ukrainian aspirations for a freer, more Western-oriented country. It is about kicking out Russia from Ukrainian markets and plundering Ukraine all by themselves. Mainly by Germany and the USA -- to major players of Euromaydan color revolution. For Germans this is return to "Drang nach Osten" on a new level, on the level of neoliberal neocolonialism.
They used Western nationalists as their fifth column, but Western Ukrainian suffered from the results no less then people in Eastern Ukraine. Many now try to move to Kiev, Kiev region and further East in order to escape poverty and unemployment. Seasonal labor to Russia (mainly builders) diminished rapidly. Train communication now is blocked, and for Western Ukraine only Poland now represents a chance to earn money for the family to survive the winter.
For the USA this is first of all about selling Ukraine expensive weaponry, wasting precious Ukrainian resources on permanent hostility with Russia (with Donbas conflict as a real win to further the USA geopolitical ambitions -- in line with the "Full spectrum dominance" doctrine) , cornering Ukrainian energy market (uranium supplies for power stations, etc.), destruction, or buy-out of a few competing industries other than extracting industries and maquiladoras, getting better conditions for the EU exports and multinationals operating in Ukraine (and initially with plans for re-export products to Russia tax free) and increasing the country debt to "debt slave" level.
In other words this is a powerful kick in a chin by Obama to Putin. Not a knockdown, but very close.
For Ukraine first of all that means rapid accumulation of a huge external debt -- conditions of economic slavery, out of which there is no escape. Ukrainian people paid a very dear price for their Euromaydan illusions. They became mass slave labor in Poland. Prostitutes in Germany. Seasonal picker of fruits in some other EU countries (GB, France). A new European blacks, so to speak.
The level of fleecing Ukraine by the USA after Euromaidan can be compared only with fleecing of Libya. The currency dropped 300%, and 80% Ukrainians now live in abysmal poverty, while neoliberal oligarchs allied with the West continue to plunder the country. Gold reserves were moved to the USA.
If I had to choose between two colonizers, I probably would prefer Russians. They are still colonizers, but they are less ruthless and brutal colonizers.
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Jake , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 12:18 pm GMTWhy do our 'foreign interventionists,' our 'permanent war for globalist perpetual peace' crusaders, our Neocons, hate Russia so thoroughly and so centrally to their very beings?Really No Shit , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm GMT
First, our imperialists are the direct descendants intellectually, spiritually, and morally of the first WASP Empire, the first Anglo-Zionist Empire: the British Empire. And they have used their high IQs that are focused on grasping the One Ring to Rule Them All to locate where the Brit WASP Empire failed to achieve its goals, which allowed the collapse starting with World War 1. They are obsessed with that because they believe that if they can achieve what the Brit WASPs failed to achieve, then they can make the Anglo-Zionist Empire 2.0 as permanent as the Roman Empire – a Thousand Year Reich.
And that is spiritually what all WASP imperialism, all Anglo-Zionist imperialism back to at least the Anglo-Saxon Puritans, is about: replacing the Roman Empire, which means replacing that which culturally led to, and was absolutely indispensable to, Christendom.
What they wish to redo and achieve that the Brit WASPs failed in is winning The Great Game: becoming total master of Eur-Asia. And that requires taking out Russia and China. In the 19th century, China was sicker than even the Ottoman Turkish Empire. To play the long game to destroy Russia, the Brit WASPs allied with the Turks to prevent Russia acting to push the Ottomans out of Europe. Brit WASP secret service in eastern Europe was focused on reducing Russia significantly right through the Bolshevik Revolution, even with Russia naively, stupidly allied with the British Empire in World War 1.
Our 'foreign interventionists' have seen Russia under Putin rise from the ashes, and they intend to destroy Russia once and for all, so they then can reduce China and win The Great Game. And thus make Anglo-Zionist Empire greater than Roman Empire.
Second, our Neocons are the spiritual and intellectual descendants not just of Trotskyites, but of all Russia-hating Jews with ties to Central and/or Eastern Europe. For them, Russia always is the evil that must be destroyed for the good of Jews.
Everything at its bedrock is about theology, is about the choice between Christ and Christendom or the Chaos of anti-Christendom.The "foreign interventionists" want two things: Russia's mineral riches and its good gene pool (how do you think Middle Eastern Semites became blonde hair-blue eyed people who can easily blend into the West to undermine it from within in the first place to begin with?)
And they won't stop until they get what they want, by hook or crook!
Jun 23, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
- Gerald says: June 20, 2020 at 5:34 pm surely 'legitimacy' goes to the victor. Once you've won you can build a sort of legitimacy that the majority will agree with (whether its real or not) of course if you are a kind of despotic dictatorship (as appears to be happening in terms of western neoliberal capitalism) then you will merely do as you wish regardless until confronted with overwhelming opposition at which point you will infiltrate and co-opt said opposition, pay lip service to their vague claim for 'rights' and continue on your merry way.
I always thought that the greatest thing that the capitalists did in the 20th century was to get the slaves to love their slavery, its all advertising, hollywood, TV that's all that politics has become, certainly in the West. Edward Bernays has a lot to answer for.
Of course ultimately you reach a point where no one truly understands what is real and what isn't any more.
Boris Johnson PM of the UK? Surely not, Theresa May? I can barely wipe the smirk from my face. 4th and 5th rate politicians relying on SPADs to run the country.
There is no wonder that Putin looks like the greatest 21st century leader, the last of a dying breed. Reading his recent essay on the truths of WWII ( http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/63527 ) yet again sees him posting uncomfortable realities to a West knee deep in vassalage to a crumbling US.
Change is coming whether we like it or not, with or without Putin, we'd best tend our own garden and stop worrying about an opposition that simply doesn't exist.
Jun 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org
The drama eventually ended with President Donald Trump pulling U.S. peacekeepers out of Syria -- and then sending them back in . One hundred thousand Syrian civilians were displaced by an advancing Turkish army, and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces turned to Russia for help. But U.S. forces never fully withdrew -- they are still stuck in Syria defending oil wells .
Bolton's account sheds light on how it happened: hawks in the administration, including Bolton himself, wanted U.S. forces in Syria fighting Russia and Iran. They saw the U.S.-Kurdish alliance against ISIS as a distraction -- and let the Turkish-Kurdish conflict fester until it spiralled out of control.
Pompeo issued a statement on Thursday night denouncing Bolton's entire book as "a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods."
Jun 22, 2020 | www.antiwar.com"Why does life almost come to a halt on June 22? And why does one feel a lump in the throat?"
This how Russian President Vladimir Putin chose to address the fateful day in 1941, when Germany invaded Russia, with an extraordinarily detailed article on June 19: "75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future."
Citing archival data, Putin homes in on both world wars, adding important information not widely known, and taking no liberties with facts well known to serious historians. As for the "lump in the throat", the Russian president steps somewhat out of character by weaving in some seemingly formative personal experiences of family loss during that deadly time and postwar years. First, the history:
"On June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union faced the strongest, most mobilized and skilled army in the world with the industrial, economic, and military potential of almost all Europe working for it. Not only the Wehrmacht, but also Germany's satellites, military contingents of many other states of the European continent, took part in this deadly invasion.
"The most serious military defeats in 1941 brought the country to the brink of catastrophe. By 1943 the manufacture of weapons and munitions behind the lines exceeded the rates of military production of Germany and its allies. The Soviet people did something that seemed impossible. the Red Army. no matter what anyone is trying to prove today , made the main and crucial contribution to the defeat of Nazism Almost 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives, one in seven of the population the USA lost one in 320." [ Emphasis added .]
Somber factual recollections. Significant, too, is Putin's explicit criticism of "crimes committed by the [Stalin] regime against its own people and the horror of mass repressions." Nor does he spare criticism of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, denouncing its "secret protocols as "an act of personal power" which in no way reflected "the will of the Soviet people."
Putin notes that he asked for "the whole body of materials pertaining to contacts between the USSR and Germany in the dramatic days of August and September 1939," and found facts "known to very few these days" regarding Moscow's reaction to German demands on carving up Poland (yet again). On this key issue, he cites, "paragraph 2 of the Secret Protocol to the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of August 23, 1939", indicating that it throws new light on Moscow's initial foot-dragging and its eventual decision to join in a more limited (for Russia) partition.
Look it up. And while you're at it, GOOGLE Khalkhin Gol River and refresh your memory about what Putin describes as "intense fighting" with Japan at the time.
The Russian president points out, correctly, that "the Red Army supported the Allied landing in Normandy by carrying out the large-scale Operation Bagration in Belorussia", which is actually an understatement. ( See: " Who Defeated the Nazis: a Colloquy and " Once We Were Allies; Then Came MICIMATT ."
"No matter what anyone is trying to prove today," writes Putin, who may have had in mind the latest indignity from Washington; namely, the White House tweet on V-E day this year, saying "On May 8, 1945, America and Great Britain had victory over the Nazis."
Lump in Throat
And why does one feel a lump rise in the throat? Putin asks rhetorically.
"The war has left a deep imprint on every family's history. Behind these words, there are the fates of millions of people Behind these words, there is also the pride, the truth and the memory.
"For my parents, the war meant the terrible ordeals of the Siege of Leningrad where my two-year old brother Vitya died. It was the place where my mother miraculously managed to survive. My father, despite being exempt from active duty, volunteered to defend his hometown. He fought at the Nevsky Pyatachok bridgehead and was severely wounded. And the more years pass, the more I treasure in my heart the conversations I had with my father and mother on this subject, as well as the little emotion they showed.
"People of my age and I believe it is important that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren understand the torment and hardships their ancestors had to endure how their ancestors managed to persevere and win. We have a responsibility to our past and our future to do our utmost to prevent those horrible tragedies from happening ever again. Hence, I was compelled to come out with an article about World War II and the Great Patriotic War."
Putin was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) eight years after the vicious siege by the German army ended. Michael Walzer, in his War Against Civilians , notes, "More people died in the 900-day siege of Leningrad than in the infernos of Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki taken together."
Putin notes that the "human truth" of war, "which is bitter and merciless, has been handed down to us by writers and poets who walked through hell at the front. For my generation, as well as for many others, their piercing trench prose and poems have left their mark on the soul forever." He calls particular attention to a poem by Alexander Tvardovsky , "I was killed near Rzhev," dedicated to those who fought the formidable German Army Group Center.
Putin explains, "In the battles for Rzhev from October 1941 to March 1943, the Red Army lost 1,342,888 people, including wounded and missing in action. For the first time, I call out these terrible, tragic and far from complete figures collected from archive sources. I do it to honor the memory of the feat of known and nameless heroes", who were largely ignored in the postwar years.
The Germans were hardly the first to invade Russia. It was occupied for more than two centuries beginning in 1240 by Mongols from the east, after which its western neighbor was Europe, the most powerful and expansionist region in world history into the 20th century. After the Mongols were finally driven out, in came invaders from Lithuania, Sweden, the Hanseatic League, Napoleon and, 79 years ago today, Hitler.
"The Poet of Russian Grief"
Out of this history (and before the Nazi attack on June 22, 1941) came the deeply compassionate 19th century poet Nikolay Nekrasov, who, after Pushkin, became my favorite Russian poet. His poem, "Giving Attention to the Horrors of War") moved me deeply; I have carried it with me from my college days when I committed it to memory.
I visited Moscow in April 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the meeting of American and Russian troops on the Elbe at the end of WWII. It was a heartwarming observance of the victory of our wartime Grand Alliance and a reminder of what might be possible seven decades later. I was asked to speak at the ceremony celebrating the meeting on the Elbe, and was happy to be able to feature Nekrasov's poem to compensate for my out-of-practice Russian.
On June 22, 2016, the 75th anniversary of the Nazi attack on Russia, I was in Yalta, Crimea, with an American citizens' delegation and was again asked to speak. It was an even more appropriate occasion to recite Nekrasov's "Giving Attention to the Horrors of War," and I shall never forget the poignant experience of personally witnessing, and feeling, just why Nekrasov is called "the poet of Russian grief." There were several people in the audience old enough to remember.
Finally, I recited Nekrasov again, in Brussels, at the annual EU Parliament Members' Forum on Russia in early December 2015. My talk came on the second day of the Forum; until then, almost all of the talks were pretty much head-speeches. So I tried a little heart therapy and called my presentation "Stay Human." The late Giulietto Chiesa, one of the Forum moderators recorded my speech and posted it on his website.
The poem can be heard from minute 11:00 to 17:00 . There is some voice-over in Italian, but I spoke mostly in English and some of that is intelligible – audible, I mean. There is no voice-over for the Nekrasov poem. I shall provide a translation into English below:
Heeding the horrors of war,
At every new victim of battle
I feel sorry not for his friend, nor for his wife,
I feel sorry not even for the hero himself.
Alas, the wife will be comforted,
And best friends forget their friend;
But somewhere there is one soul –
Who will remember unto the grave!
Amidst the hypocrisy of our affairs
And all the banality and triviality
Unique among what I have observed in the world
Sacred, sincere tears –
The tears of poor mothers!
They do not forget their own children,
Who have perished on the bloody battlefield,
Just as the weeping willow never lifts
Its dangling branches
Suffice it to add that I confess to being what the Germans call a "Putin Versteher" – literally, one who understands Putin. (Sadly, most Germans mean no compliment with this appellation; quite the contrary.) As one who has studied Russia for half a century, though, I believe I have some sense for where Russian leaders "are coming from."
That said, like almost all Americans, I cannot begin to know, in any adequate sense, what it is actually like to be part of a society with a history of being repeatedly invaded and/or occupied – whether from East or West. In my view, U.S. policy makers need to make some effort to become, in some degree, Putin Verstehers, or the risk of completely unnecessary armed confrontation will increase still more.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President's Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). This originally appeared at Consortium News .
Jun 18, 2020 | nationalinterest.org
The Russian president offers a comprehensive assessment of the legacy of World War II, arguing that "Today, European politicians, and Polish leaders in particular, wish to sweep the Munich Betrayal under the carpet. The Munich Betrayal showed to the Soviet Union that the Western countries would deal with security issues without taking its interests into account."by Vladimir Putin ,
Jun 22, 2020 | news.yahoo.com
Here's What You Need To Remember: Pentagon war plans already included the destruction of cities as a way to destroy the urban and industrial backbone. "This should result in greater population casualties in that a larger portion of the urban population may be placed at risk."
"Bomb them back into the Stone Age," ex-Air Force general Curtis LeMay is reported to have once urged as a way to defeat North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
But it turns out that had global nuclear war erupted during the early 1960s, it would have been the Russians and Chinese who would have reverted to living like the Flintstones.
U.S. nuclear war plans called for the destruction of the Soviet Union and China as "viable societies," according to documents revealed by the non-profit National Security Archive .
Related Video: Cold War Escape Tunnel Opens Under Berlin Wall
The document in question pertains to the Single Integrated Operational Plan, or SIOP, which governs the numerous war plans and their associated options that govern how America would fight a nuclear war. In June 1964, senior military leaders (including Air Force Chief of Staff LeMay) were sent a staff review of the current SIOP.
The report included questions and answers regarding the various nuclear targeting options. These ranged from attacks on enemy nuclear and conventional forces while minimizing collateral damage to enemy cities, to attacking cities as well as military forces on purpose. This latter option would have been "in order to destroy the will and ability of the Sino-Soviet Bloc to wage war, remove the enemy from the category of a major industrial power, and assure a post-war balance of power favorable to the United States."
"Should these options give more stress to population as the main target?" asked one question.
The answer was that Pentagon war plans already included the destruction of cities as a way to destroy the urban and industrial backbone. "This should result in greater population casualties in that a larger portion of the urban population may be placed at risk."
In another Pentagon analysis "on the effect of placing greater emphasis on the attack of urban/industrial targets in order to destroy the USSR and China as viable societies, it was indicated that the achievement of a 30 per cent fatality level (i.e., 212.7 million people) in the total population (709 million people) of China would necessitate an exorbitant weight of effort."
This was because of China's rural society at the time. "Thus, the attack of a large number of place names [towns] would destroy only a small fraction of the total population of China. The rate of return for a [nuclear] weapon expended diminishes after accounting for the 30 top priority cities."
Note that while annihilating one-third of China's population was deemed uneconomical, the U.S. military took it for granted that the Soviet Union and China would be destroyed as viable societies.14 hours ago Nice. Sounds like a lose lose situation. Carry on! 8 hours ago Whats more scary is Russia Dead Hand program. it can automatically trigger the launch of the Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) by sending a pre-entered highest-authority order from the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Strategic Missile Force Management to command posts and individual silos if a nuclear strike is detected by seismic, light, radioactivity, and pressure sensors even with the commanding elements fully destroyed. So even if we somehow nuked them and they didnt have time to respond, Dead Hand would do it itself. 16 hours ago This was before scientist fully understood how the prevailing winds and the jet stream circle the globe in the northern hemisphere. Had this nuclear war on two fronts actually happened the radiation fallout would have circled the globe in weeks and killed most of the people living north of the equator in a matter of months.. Think the old Gregory Peck movie "On the Beach"... And rent it if you can, it's a great movie.. 14 hours ago If I am not mistaken, was not the same General Curtis LeMay the running mate of George Wallace in 1968? 14 hours ago Note, all plans of the USA are always based on assumption of invisibility. The feeling is that the country is protected by oceans and invisible to any retaliation. My conclusion: Nuclear bomb available to both sides saved us from MAD. It is good that both Soviet Union and China developed nuclear response. But look, amepikan plans are made in 1964 - Soviet Union had already launched in 1957 Sputnik and as one of my educated amepikan contacts said "Russians beat a s.....t out us", that is scared to death.
So amepikan leadership could expect that they would not invite retaliation? May be the US would win but what would be left from the US would hardly resemble normal society. 15 hours ago By the late 1980s, the US had so many nuclear weapons that they pretty much ran out of viable targets. The nuke weaponeers used to talk about "making the rubble bounce" by hitting the same targets multiple times.
BTW, the highly classified "SIOP" was in effect until 2003: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Integrated_Operational_Plan 13 hours ago This doctrine imo still exist. An obama aide leaked the same thing. If we go to a nuclear war with either china or russia we will nuke both because we cant afford to have one survive if we get destroyed. So, we can assume a nuke war with China or russia will send both their nukes our way. 13 hours ago This kind of hyperbole article is not productive. National war strategy should be secret. Freedom of press should have its limit. 9 hours ago I have a suggestion, Pentagon. In the future, if you have an Endgame scenario & response, DON'T PUBLISH IT ON YAHOO!
Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU1 , Jun 21 2020 23:44 utc | 57
I think you are onto something there. When Putin unveiled the new weapons systems, Peresvet I took to be a laser and it seemed a bit out of place as lasers are limited by atmospheric conditions whereas Russian military equipment operates under all conditions.
Putin also spoke of completely new physics principles.
The Budker instatute. http://www.en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/56823
Peresvet - particle accelerator/directed energy weapon that can operate under all conditions? Satellites, ICBMs ect?
Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
H.Schmatz , Jun 21 2020 12:09 utc | 76From Furr´s research:
Debunked the "official" version of the Katyn massacre?Furthermore, a large part of the bodies in the graves were those of children. The Soviets did not execute children. This is compelling evidence that it was the work of the Germans and not of the Soviets. Such a conclusion is confirmed by recent research by other Ukrainian scholars. Based on the evidence from the trials of German war criminals, testimonies of Jewish survivors, and investigations by Polish historians Ivan Katchanovski and Volodymyr Musychenko into mass executions of Poles by Ukrainian nationalists, they concluded that the buried bodies correspond mainly to Jews, but also Poles and "Soviet activists". Katchanovski concludes that the Ukrainian authorities sought to blame the Soviet NKVD in order to hide the guilt of some Ukrainian nationalists considered heroes in present-day Ukraine, including Volodimir-Volynski itself.
Katyn in Reverse in Ukraine: Nazi-led Massacres turned into Soviet Massacres. By Ivan Katchanovski
Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
H.Schmatz , Jun 21 2020 11:40 utc | 75@Posted by: Jen | Jun 21 2020 9:52 utc | 73
There were no real documents which could anytime prove the NKVD, or any Soviet official or citizen fighting in the Red Army for that matter, executed the people whose corpses were found in Katyn.
Amongst the multiple contradictions and contradictory evidence found by several researchers´groups, there is the fact that the corpses were placed in the pit in the known nazi preferred way so called "sardine cans", plus that fact that children were also found in the pit, when the Soviets never executed a child.
The fake documents, known in Furr´s investigation as "Closed Package No. 1″, where "closed" refers to the highest level of confidentiality, were provided by Yeltsyn, amid his permanent intoxication, who claimed to have found secret folders in the files of the presidency, and directly blamed Stalin for the massacre. The folders were shown to contain false, undated, contradictory, visibly fabricated documents. The Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation in 2004 closed the investigation. He found no evidence to blame the USSR, Stalin, or even the "sinister" head of the NKVD, Lavrenti Beria.
That Gorbachov, Yeltsyn, or some people currently in the Russian Duma agree with the doctored report by the Yale University to underpine the narrative against Stalin, the USSR and communism in general is not to be surprised since to this very day there are enemies of Russia holding a deputy post in the Russian Duma, and we all know how generously the Western powers behind the destruction of the USSR paid all these anti-Soviet, anti-Russian, agents.
The thing is that the "Katyn Hoax" contitutes, along the "Holodomor Hoax", the cornerstone of the Polish and Ukrainian far-right´s and Russian fifth column´s ( far-right too )narrative to throw shit over Stalin´s and the heroic Sovier peoples´ victory in WWII. Both hoaxes currently debunked by serious researchers.
Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jozwa , Jun 21 2020 15:56 utc | 80@ Posted by: Dirk / Jun 20 2020 17:37 utc | 7
A certain explanation for this unfortunate Polish whim, you will find it at the address below. You should know that the route of the Czech-Polish border, although it originated from the Spa Conference of 1920, was clarified according to the wishes of the French consortium Schneider, which had taken control of the Czech industry after World War I. It is the French historian Annie Lacroix-Riz who specifies it in "The choice of the defeat".
"There was a very tense climate in 1918–1920, a time of decision. It was decided that a plebiscite would be held in Cieszyn Silesia asking people which country the territory should join. Plebiscite commissioners arrived at the end of January 1920 and after analyzing the situation declared a state of emergency in the territory on 19 May 1920. The situation in the territory remained very tense. Mutual intimidation, acts of terror, beatings, and even killings affected the area. A plebiscite could not be held in this atmosphere. On 10 July both sides renounced the idea of a plebiscite and entrusted the Conference of Ambassadors with the decision. Eventually 58.1% of the area of Cieszyn Silesia and 67.9% of the population was incorporated into Czechoslovakia on 28 July 1920 by a decision of the Spa Conference. This division was in practice what gave birth to the concept of the Zaolzie -- which literally means "the land beyond the Olza River" (looking from Poland)."
You will find the map of the 1910 Polish speakers of this region there:
Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Jun 21 2020 17:08 utc | 89@ Posted by: Dave the Wade | Jun 21 2020 16:03 utc | 83
At the beginning/before the war, the Trotskyists made a resolution declaring that the USSR, albeit "degenerated", was still a proletarian republic. Hence, vis-a-vis the Third Reich, it should be defended. The document was released publicly, and it is available on the internet; I don't remember the exact year and the name of the document. It's important to highlight that the Nazi build up was evident already even before Hitler took power in 1932.
When it became clear the USSR would win the war, they "pushed" for the Soviets to liberate the whole European peninsula, not just until Germany.
@ Posted by: Vince | Jun 21 2020 15:58 utc | 82
The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact had a secret protocol that envisaged the partition of Poland. But that's immaterial as to "who's to blame for the start of the WWII" because Poland had imperial ambitions at the time, therefore it was "a player in the game". If you "play the game", you're putting yourself in a position to lose said game.
The reason the USSR saw Eastern Poland, Finland and the Baltics as part of its "natural borders" is very simple: those were the borders of the old Russian Empire. The USSR was smaller in territorial terms than the Russian Empire.
Everybody was building up before 1941 (even the USA). WWII wasn't a bolt from the blue. The only doubt at the eve of 1939 was how each side would take shape, as it wasn't obvious the Western colonial powers would ally with the USSR.
The allies were actually divided in half: the USSR on one side, the UK-France-USA on the other side. The Western allies still expected the USSR would destroy itself alongside the Third Reich so they could simply march forwards over the wasteland and occupy the whole thing. Until Stalingrad, Roosevelt explicitly conditioned the existence of the Lend Lease to the non-existence of a second front against Germany. It was only when it became clear the Soviets would achieve a total victory over Germany that the Americans sobered up and lifted this condition (i.e. they would keep the Lend Lease and they would get their second front). That's why D-Day happened in 1944, and not in, say, 1942.
Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Jun 20 2020 21:25 utc | 25
@ Posted by: Ike | Jun 20 2020 20:17 utc | 20
For the events of the 1930s, I recommend reading Micheal Jabara Carley's The Alliance that Never Was and the Coming of World War II.
This book is essential to understand the intricate politics that ultimately triggered WWII because it focus on the people that really had the power to stop it: the Nation-States themselves (through their diplomats).
The politics of the 1930s were very complex, but can be based on one main contradiction: during the 1930s, there was the widespread belief in France and the UK that a new world war would result in a worldwide communist revolution. The equation was war=communism in Europe, according to the conservative governments of those two nations.
Another important reason WWII happened the way it happened was very simple, but is denied by the Western nations until modern times: fascism was very popular in Western Europe and the USA during the 1930s. In France in particular, the local MSM was waging a vicious propaganda war against the USSR, and we could guess the country was essentially polarized. The British MSM was also waging it in their home country.
Poland was 100% against the USSR. Their preference would be to preserve their alliance with the UK-France, but they (i.e. their chief of staff of the Armed Forces) also explicitly stated to Litvinov that, if it came to choose between Germany and the USSR, they would choose Germany. It was because of Poland that the USSR wasn't able to fly around Germany in order to form an alliance with the West (Romania, however, agreed to extraofficially allow Soviet planes to cross their airspace).
Chamberlain used Poland to officially legitimize his non-alliance with the USSR, but we now know from his personal letters (many of them to his sister) that the real reason he didn't do it was his fear of the equation war=communism (in Western Europe). He was literally "taking one for the team" of capitalism and was very aware of that. His position was unsustainable, because we now know that it never crossed Hitler's mind to not wage war against France and the UK, even though his main goal was the USSR. The thing is the Nazis rose to power with the promise of revenging the Army for WWI.
Churchill was a capitalist and a staunch anti-communist, and, in another universe, he certainly would do an alliance with the Nazis to crush the USSR. The problem is that the UK's military doctrine already was completely directed towards Germany, and the British people already was brainwashed for decades that Germany was the UK's main enemy. You can't call a total war against an enemy your own people doesn't want to fight against. Changing a military doctrine of a country takes decades - it simply wasn't possible for Churchill to shift the British people's minds from an anti-German mode to an anti-Soviet mode in such a short time. It would only be during the Cold War that it was made possible (as they had the time to do so), and, nowadays, we can comfortably say most of the British people is germanophile (at least, the British left) and russophobe. Plus, Churchill could see Hitler right into his soul, and knew he would wage war from the beginning.
The Americans were completely out of the picture in the 1930s. They were divided among the isolationists and the interventionists. Exception to the rule were the American industrialists, who helped mainly Nazi Germany, but also the USSR, in rebuilding themselves. They did so not because of ideology, but because they were desperate for new markets after the collapse of 1929. American loyalty was on the cheap in the 1930s.
Innocent Civilian , Jun 20 2020 21:27 utc | 26The humanity owes a big debt to USSR for defeating Nazi Germany and saving the earth from their unholy empire. While Angela Merkel, instead of Putin, makes the rounds and poses in photos in the 75th anniversary D-Day in London, the history is being rewritten in front of our eyes and we have ended up with a majority that fails to question why it took more than two years to plan and execute the Normandy invasion. As for capitalists funding the build-up of the Wehrmacht, the saying goes "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."uncle tungsten , Jun 20 2020 21:37 utc | 27bystander 04 #23karlof1 , Jun 20 2020 21:41 utc | 28
I am inclined that way right now.
I believe Stalin and the Central Committees decision to occupy those countries on its periphery and absolutely crush the likely fascist resurgence was the correct decision. I gather they recognized the oligarchic forces who financed and supported Hitler. Those same forces are at it again today.
The foresight and analysis of those Russian thinkers was correct then and remains relevant now.I guess I need to again remind people that all history is revisioned --it is seen or read about, then processed through the historian's mind-- revisioned --then written. Even an event that's 100% written about as it genuinely occurred is revisioned in the above manner because that's how the human mind works. Before it was discovered how to doctor them, photographs and film were deemed to be superior recorders of events than descriptive words because there was no revisioning to alter the content, but that ceased to be the case 100+ years ago. In today's world, the live broadcast is the closest thing that avoids the revisioning dilemma--that's why live streams sent via cell phones and webcams are powerful and hated by those seeking control--they're deprived of the opportunity to shape the narrative or manipulate the evidence.Tom , Jun 20 2020 21:43 utc | 29
In his essay, I expected Putin to write more about International Law and why adherence to it is so important in the maintenance of peace. Instead, he sent a backhanded message to those managing the Outlaw US Empire about the fate they'll face if they continue on their path and exit the UN.#14 SteveJen , Jun 20 2020 21:50 utc | 30
USSR was invited, and didn't invaded Afghanistan. Ronnie Ray gun's freedom fighters, the mujahidin were already there.That so many people in the West believe that the US did the most to defeat Nazi Germany is understandable due to decades of repeated Hollywood propaganda starring the likes of John Wayne (who never actually went near anything resembling a tank or a nav asl ship) and others. But what explains the 50% of British people who believe the British did the most to beat the Nazis?H.Schmatz , Jun 20 2020 21:51 utc | 31
Is it all that constant blagging about the Battle of Britain (which incidentally was won for Britain by pilots representing something like 25 different nationalities with the most significant hits being made by Polish pilots) or the ceaseless propaganda about what a great warmonger and mass murderer ... er, "hero" Winston Churchill was, in crap media like The Daily Mail and the BBC?Anonymous , Jun 20 2020 21:56 utc | 32It is disturbing that no Western leaders are attending the 75th anniversary celebrations of the end of WWII in Moscow.
@Posted by: Ike | Jun 20 2020 20:17 utc | 20
Indeed, it is disturbing... May be the Russians should turn to the Western people and invite them to represent their countries?
I am currently available for traveling...I would feel most grateful of having the opportunity, still have not visited Lenin Mausoleum.... although for being in Moscow for June 24th, I should be carried by a "Moscow Express" flight...Jen , Jun 20 2020 22:08 utc | 34
"At the end of his essay Putin defends the veto power of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. In his view it has prevented that another clash on a global scale has happened since World War II ended. Putin rejects attempts to abolish that system."
b, what is your opinion about Germany becoming a permanent member of the UNSC since it is now, arguably, the most powerful nation in Europe?
Do you think it threatens security/stability by excluding it from the UNSC, while the UK and France are included? (I think it does, but I'm Canadian, what do I know? :-)Victor @ 17:Jen , Jun 20 2020 22:18 utc | 35
If you are referring to the massacre of Polish POWs and Polish intellectuals, musicians and artists whose bodies were found in the forests of Katyn by Nazi German soldiers, bear in mind that Nazi Germany stood to benefit from blaming the massacre directly on the Soviets. While Russia under President Yeltsin did accept responsibility for the Katyn massacre - after all, the Soviets did hold the victims as prisoners and should have evacuated them - one still has to be wary of a narrative shaped and dictated by an enemy nation who milked the propaganda value of the massacre against the Soviets. That in itself might tell you who the real murderers were.Steve @ 14, Tom @ 29:snow_watcher , Jun 20 2020 22:18 utc | 36
The US began arming Afghan warlords and mujaheddin as early as August 1979, as part of the then US State Secretary Zbigniew Brzezinski's plan to push the USSR into an Afghan version of the Vietnam War. The plan passed muster with the Carter government. The funding and arming of the mujaheddin by the CIA was what led Kabul to request help from Moscow. The Soviets arrived in December 1979.Thanks, I'll read Putin's essay.Ghost Ship , Jun 20 2020 22:41 utc | 37
I'm almost done reading "Life And Fate" by Vasily Grossman, translated by Robert Chandler. The defense of Stalingrad and the eventual defeat of Field Marshal Paulus, commander of the 6th army, is instructive.
The Russians suffered and endured horrific sacrifices during WWII while simultaneously turning the tide against the Third Reich. An heroic tale much unappreciated by many in the West. The Russians did participate in the Lend-Lease program although the benefits are debated especially for the early and decisive years.
https://www.historynet.com/did-russia-really-go-it-alone-how-lend-lease-helped-the-soviets-defeat-the-germans.htmVk @ 3BraveNewWorld , Jun 20 2020 22:43 utc | 38
even though it has the victory against JapanNah, sorry mate, doesn't even have that. The Soviet Union scared the Japanese high command into surrendering after the US dropped its demand for unconditional surrender because it was scared that the Soviet Union would invade the main islands of Japan before it could.I have been following the latest shit show between POTUS, DOJ & SDNY. Are Americans really sure they are ready to go to war with China because I have to be honest. I'm not entirely convinced you guys have your act together.Senalis , Jun 20 2020 22:45 utc | 39Stalin foresaw attempts to belittle the USSR's role in WWII. For example, during the Battle of Stalingrad there was a team of cinephotographers that filmed different aspects of the battle, from the siege to the envelopment of the beseigers.Real History , Jun 20 2020 22:54 utc | 40
When the battle ended a documentary was compiled, many copies were made, some of which were shown to enthusiastic audiences in North America. I saw that film in, I believe, March 1943 when I was a 12 year old living in Toronto.
You have to know that 1942 had been a terribly demoralizing year for the Allied side. Japan was unstoppable running over SE Asia; U-boats were sinking lots of supply ships headed to the UK in the North Atlantic; there was the fiasco of Dieppe which hit Canadian pride hard; Rommel and assorted British generals were playing tag back & forth across North Africa; but the biggest disaster was unfolding across the USSR from Leningrad down to the lower Volga. So when that documentary opened with a shot of Reichsmarschall von Paulus trudging through knee-deep snow leading a seemingly endless column of bedraggled German soldiers to an imprisonment camp, it was a most uplifting moment, unmatched until May 1945.
The ferocity of the Soviet counterattack was awesome: Katyusha rockets; great swarms of troops under air cover, including women, in white camouflage on skis, heading to the front.
I and hundreds of thousands of others who saw that film in 1943 know damn well who really won the war and how. Putin has had enough of insults directed against Russia's record during WWII from UKUS, but especially from Poland, and has responded forcefully.
I found most interesting his reference to still-locked archives outside of Russia dealing with the shenanigans that led to WWI. We can only hope that historians will get to them before the mice!Why is it there is no mentions that Churchill tasked his Chiefs of Staff to come up with a plan to attack the Soviet Union and start WW Three in April 1945, a month before the end of World War Two.H.Schmatz , Jun 20 2020 22:55 utc | 41
The plan his Chiefs developed was called Operation Unthinkable. It called for the Great Britain and the allies to attack the Soviet Union on July 1, 1945. This plan went nowhere.
Then Truman came up with a plan in August 1945 called Operation Totality which called for dropping atomic bombs on Moscow and 20 of the most important cities in the USSR. This plan too didn't go anywhere but this marked the end of the Great Britain, America alliance with Stalin and from this point on, in a 180 degree turn, Stalin and the Communists became the West's mortal enemies and the Cold War was born.
Why does this development and the reasons for this 180 degree about turn not get any mention and analysis? Why did the allies turn on a dime and go from being best of buddies with the Marxist Communists to being worst of enemies with the West desiring to annihilate the Soviet Union? Why?
Real HistoryMay be Mr. Putin aimed at trying a last intend on appeasement, his own Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact ....May be, even knowing this time it will not work either...bystander 04 , Jun 20 2020 23:15 utc | 42"The great criminal who has ordered the murder, transforms his joy for the crime committed into currency, giving a reward worthy of a prince. Now that he has ordered the looting and murder of the two thousand richest men in Italy, Antonio can finally be generous. For the bloody sack containing Cicero's hands and head, pay the centurion a brilliant million sesterces. But with it his revenge has not yet cooled, so that the stupid hatred of this bloodthirsty man still creates a special ignominy for the dead, without realizing that with himself he will be debased for all time. Antonio orders that the head and the hands are nailed in the tribune from where Cicero incited the city against him to defend the freedom of Rome.
The next day a disgraceful spectacle awaits the Roman people. In the speakers' gallery, the same from which Cicero delivered his immortal speeches, the severed head of the last defender of liberty hangs discolored. An imposing rusty nail pierces the forehead, the thousands of thoughts. Livid and with a rictus of bitterness, the lips that formulated the metallic words of the Latin language more beautifully than those of any other. Closed, the blue eyelids cover the eyes that for sixty years watched over the republic. Powerless, they open his hands that wrote the most splendid letters of the time.
But all in all, no accusation made by the great orator from that rostrum against brutality, against the delirium of power, against illegality, speaks as eloquently against the eternal injustice of violence as that silent head of a murdered man .
Suspicious the people gather around the desecrated rostra . Dejected, ashamed, it turns away again. No one dares - it is a dictatorship! - to express a single reply, but a spasm oppresses their hearts. And dismayed, they lower their heads at this allegory of the crucified republic...."
Sternstunden der Menschheit , by Stefan Zweig....
Thanks, „b" for this article and the links - I read Putin´s essay and am impressed with the depth , insight, humanity in his words. I would like to share my views, gained from living for many years under soviets and their Jewish helpers (like Jakub Berman, Zambrowski, Fejgin, to name a few). Here my amplifications and few other important details, omitted by Putin:Victor , Jun 20 2020 23:31 utc | 43
1). regarding his description of decisions by different governments - he does not mention that the Polish government had good reasons not to trust Stalin - because Soviet Union cooperated with Germany for many years before - in form of having Germans (disguised as some kind of para military, in order to circumvent the prohibitions following Versailles treaty) training in the Soviet Union.
2). Another detail is that the British, French and Americans were trying to gain time before confrontation with Nazis, just the same reasoning Putin allows to Soviet Union.
3).It also can be interpreted that Stalin decided to join the partition of Poland only after Germany was victorious, similar tactic Stalin used in starting war against Japan after USA won the war in Pacific and occupied the Kurile Islands.
4). Putin is disguising the aggressive action of USSR vis-a-vis Baltic states by saying „In autumn 1939, the Soviet Union pursuing its strategic military and defensive goals, started the process of incorporation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia." If Hitler would have stopped at that and not march on Moscow like Napoleon - this action would have mutate into pure aggression. „incorporation" - my foot!
5). Putin does not mention any Polish names along Petain, Quisling, Vlasov and Bandera -- because there were none, and this is significant, showing that not a single Pole was found to work - in a quasi government - with Nazis.
6). The spirit of independence he claims for Russian people (earlier in the essay), he is not giving the People of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or Poland.
7). Putin mentions „burnt Khatyn" in one breath with Babi Yar - I wonder, is there a different Kathyn from „the" Katyn, where over 22 Tsd. Polish officers and officials were butchered on orders of Stalin, Beria, Kaganovich (and one or two more whose names escape me now).
8). Putin is knowingly or otherwise pushing the antisemitic mantra on Polish nation - mentioning the ´splendid monument´ for Hitler to be erected in Warsaw, quoting ambassador Lipski in 1938 this is a blow below the waist line and I did not expect it to be repeated in this essay, as he used it already on a previous occasion. It is in jarring contrast with the otherwise solid and even-handed exposition.
In my humble opinion Putin´s essay is a big wink to Poland to stay away from Ukraine and Belarus and not be a stooge of others (oligarchs, as uncle tungsten says in #27) to try undermine Russia!
The insinuations about polish antisemitism (as if Poles had monopoly in this subject!!!) is in line with the possible use of Jewish „forces" in dealing with Polish nationalism, and unpredictability of events in Eastern Europe, if the color revolutions continue, say in Belarus..
The possible role of Israeli political calculus should also be kept in mind, as their ´plan B´, when Islam will get too dangerous for many Jews and who will suddenly discover love to the land of their polish antisemites That is why Poland is mentioned that many times.Jen @ 34Clueless Joe , Jun 20 2020 23:40 utc | 44
Putin and the Russian Duma have previously accepted that the Katyn massacre occurred under orders of Stalin and Beria. It's not Western of Polish propaganda.
Putin also condemned the Molotov/Ribbentrop Pact.
While I understand that a lot has changed in the last 10 years with regards to the level of anti-Russia hysteria, and I also understand that this essay is meant to bring forward the Russian point of view on WW2 as opposed to the propaganda of the West, I stand by my earlier statement that glossing over the bad things that happened under the orders of Stalin and simply giving a generic "Stalin was a bad man" statement only leaves an otherwise excellent historical essay open to be dismissed as propaganda.Bystander 04H.Schmatz , Jun 21 2020 0:03 utc | 45
There was a deal between US and Stalin that the Red Army would attack Japan 3 months after the end of the war in Europe, which actually happened on time - the Manchurian campaign which utterly destroyed the Japanese army in N. China/Manchukuo/Korea began on the 9th of August. Japan wasn't prepared for this and still assumed the non-aggression agreement with USSR that had been made in 1939 was still valid.
This wasn't Stalin trying to take advantage, the US were so far from invading the Main Islands that everyone assumed the war would last another year. This was Stalin doing exactly what Roosevelt had begged him to do at Yalta. And opening a 2nd front against Japan worked far better than expected - and far better than when the Western Allies opened a 2nd front in Europe against the Reich.Debunking the Polish trolls here...juliania , Jun 21 2020 0:08 utc | 46
What really happened at Katyn? (I)Historians, political scientists, Western "experts" and anti-communist "liberals" in Russia have always attributed the Katyn massacre to the NKVD, the secret police of the Soviet Union, providing alleged evidence and documents that would prove such authorship. However, all indications suggest that the Katyn massacre is another historical falsification similar to the Ukrainian Holodomor or to the figures given on the "millions of deaths" of Soviet communism. The responsibility for what happened in Katyn, in light of the evidence and testimonies provided, was the work of the Nazis.
80 years after the events of Katyn (supposedly happened in April 1940) near the city of Smolensk (border with Belarus), where more than 20 thousand Polish soldiers were executed in a nearby forest, the propaganda of the cold war returns with force, and the renewed counterfeits of the West against Russia and the former USSR.
Definitely, there is not a single consistent proof of Soviet authorship in the Katyn massacre.
Interestingly, on June 18, 2012, the European Communities Court of Justice for Human Rights, following a claim by Polish relatives of the soldiers executed in Katyn, made a surprising decision: the "documents" provided by Gorbachev and Yeltsin, after the fall of the USSR (which we will talk about in the second part of this entry), indicating that Stalin and the Soviets were guilty of the execution of tens of thousands of Polish officers near Katyn, were false. A historical slap to the propagandists of the "Russian Katyn".
The alleged documents on the mass execution of Katyn, which appeared in the late 1980s, were gutted by one of the members of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Alexander Yakovlev (a more than likely US agent who trained in North American Columbia University in the late 1950s), turned out to be false. The European court did not even accept them for consideration.
The European Court was also unable to clearly decide who was responsible for the massacre since the judges did not have enough documentary evidence, although they spent more than a year studying all kinds of historical documents and archival evidence. Until around 1990, everyone was convinced that the Poles had been killed by the Germans. This decision of the EECC Court of Justice has been completely ignored by the propagandists of the Katyn myth.(...)
In the early 19th century, fueling the illusory hope of restoring Greater Poland, the Poles sided with Napoleon in the war of 1812. The Polish army, created with the help of the French, became part of the "Great Army "Of Bonaparte as the most reliable foreign contingent. This was the third Polish invasion of Russia.
The Polish uprising of 1830 began with the widespread extermination of the Russians. In all the churches they called for the indiscriminate murder of the Russians. In Warsaw, on Easter night, an entire battalion of the Russian army was taken by surprise in a church. 2,265 Russian soldiers and officers died.
The Polish state, born in November 1918, immediately showed its hostility towards Soviet Russia. With the help of the Entente, Poland begins preparations for a war against Russia. Polish politicians had the possibility that a forceful blow from the Polish army would be dealt to the Russian army.
Poland accompanied its aggressive intentions with a set of propaganda stereotypes about the aggressiveness of the Bolsheviks. Numerous proposals from the young Soviet state to conclude a peace treaty and establish diplomatic relations were rejected. Polish military operations against Russia in the spring of 1920 were undertaken by Poland, not Soviet Russia.
After tripling numerical superiority, Polish troops, along with the army of the Ukrainian nationalist military man Simon Petliura, launched a full-scale offensive along the entire Western Front from Pripyat to Dniester. This was the fourth Polish invasion of Russian lands. In early May 1920, Polish and Petliura fighters captured Kiev. The invasion of the allied forces of Poland and Petlyura was accompanied by brutal and inhuman retaliation against the civilian civilian population.
In the occupied regions of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania, Polish invaders established bloody local governments, insulted and robbed civilians, or burned innocent people. Orthodox churches became Polish Christian churches, national schools closed.(...)
The total number of prisoners of war who died in those concentration camps is not known with certainty. However, there are various estimates based on the number of Soviet prisoners of war who returned from Polish captivity - there were 75,699 people. Russian historian Mikhail Meltiukhov estimates the number of prisoners killed at 60,000 people. Mortality among prisoners of war reached 50 people per day and as of mid-November 1920 it was 70 people per day. In the Tukholsky concentration camp alone, during the entire time of its existence, 22 thousand Red Army prisoners of war died.
In other words, the Poles established in their concentration camps a systematic policy of extermination with the Russians that reached the character of genocide, something that has been systematically silenced or hidden by the West in favor of Polish propaganda. For these crimes, the Poles today neither feel guilty nor have any remorse and disparagingly call it "Russian propaganda".
In the period between the two world wars, Poland repeatedly threatened to destroy Bolshevism and Russia as a state. Instead, as General Vladyslaw Anders, an active participant in Pan-Poland's intervention against Soviet Russia in 1919-1920, admitted, "There was never a real threat from the USSR to Poland."
Poland was never reluctant to attack Russia to hold, alongside Nazi Germany and Japan, a parade of victorious Polish-German troops on Moscow's Red Square. Marshal and national hero of Poland, the dictator Jozéf Pilsudsky, responsible for the mass extermination of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and Jews, dreamed of coming to Moscow and writing "It is forbidden to speak Russian on the Kremlin wall!"
In January 1934, Poland was the first, five years before the USSR, to conclude a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. In late 1936, the Anti-Komintern Pact was concluded with the signing of Germany and Japan, which were later joined by Italy, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Finland, Croatia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and the Republic of China (a state puppet formed by the Japanese empire in occupied territory).
The Poles, at that time, flatly refused to sign any agreement with the USSR, a country that despite having been throughout the history of countless Polish aggressions reached out to Poland. As early as mid-August 1939, the Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck, in whose office there was a portrait of Hitler, declared that "we have no military agreement with the USSR, nor do we want to have one."
In developing the plan of attack against Poland in early 1939, Hitler did not take into account the overtly anti-Soviet policies of the Polish government before the war. He and his entire circle despised and hated the Poles as a nation (even though they had been his allies in the 1930s), which was natural since his supremacist ideology did not take into account other nations than the German one.
In August 1939, before the attack on Poland, Hitler ordered that all Polish women, men, and children be ruthlessly exterminated. During the years of occupation, the Nazis murdered more than 6 million Poles, representing 22 percent of the Polish population. 95% of genetically defective Poles were planned to be evicted from their homeland.
Soviet troops, by contrast, did not allow the Nazis to wipe Poland off the face of the earth. No other force in the world could do this. "Poles must be very stupid, Winston Churchill wrote in January 1944, if they don't understand who saved them and who for the second time in the first half of the 20th century gives them the possibility of true freedom and independence." These surprising statements by Churchill, a confessed anti-communist, had nothing to do with the Cold War preparations that the British premier against the USSR and the socialist countries subsequently devised and that was reflected in his famous speech by Fulton (USA).
More than 600,000 Soviet soldiers gave their lives, saving the cities and towns of Poland in battles with the Nazis. On the contrary, during the three weeks of the Polish-German war of 1939, there were attacks by Polish troops against units of the Red Army. As a consequence of these attacks, the Soviet army lost more than a thousand of its men.
The Polish troops, who were in the midst of the Second World War in the territory of the Soviet Union, refused to fight together with the Red Army against which it should be a common Nazi enemy and left for Iran in the summer of 1942 While in the USSR, Polish troops engaged in robbery in cities and towns and committed atrocities in them.
During World War II, up to half a million Polish volunteers fought on the eastern front against the USSR, as part of the Nazi Wehrmacht (the regular army). In fact, the Germans did not carry out a forced mobilization of Polish fighters to fight alongside Nazi Germany. In the SS, the Poles acted voluntarily and in the Wehrmacht, they posed as "Germans" or "semi-Germans".
During the four years of the war, the Red Army captured 4 million Wehrmacht soldiers and volunteers from 24 European nationalities. The Poles on that list were in seventh place (over 60,000 mercenaries), ahead of the Italians (about 49,000).
It should be noted that the mortality of German refugees in Polish camps in 1945-1946. reached 50%. In the Potulice camp in 1947-1949 half of the prisoners died of starvation, cold and harassment by the Polish guards. At the end of the war, four million Germans lived in Poland. According to estimates by the Union of German Exiles, the loss of the German population during the expulsion from Poland amounted to some 3 million people.
After the unmitigated defeat of the Wehrmacht in Stalingrad, it became clear that if nothing extraordinary happened in favor of the Hitler regime, nothing would change the course of events and the Third Reich would eventually implode in the very near future.
So the Nazis "discovered" in 1943, in the Katyn forest near Smolensk, a mass grave with Polish officers. The Germans immediately declared that, as a result of the opening of the graves, all those buried there had been executed by members of the Soviet Union's secret police, the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs), in the spring of 1940. .
The official statement on the Katyn massacre was made by the Nazi government and released by its Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, on April 13, 1943, in a statement speaking about the "terrible discovery of the crimes of the Jewish commissioners of the NKVD "in the Katyn Forest. With this propaganda device, Nazi Germany sought to divide the anti-Hitler coalition and win the war.
The significance of such a declaration by the Goebbels Department had a cunning undercurrent: the Polish government-in-exile would strongly oppose Moscow and thereby pressure the British who sheltered them in London to stop supporting the Kremlin. According to Berlin's calculations, the Poles would push the British and Americans to fight Stalin, which could imply a completely different development from the events in World War II.
But Goebbels' calculation was not justified: Britain at the time did not consider it profitable to believe in the "crime of the Bolsheviks". At the same time, the head of London's "Polish government", General Wladyslaw Sikorski, took a relentless position and began to truly become an obstacle to the great international policy of alliances between the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.
The Vladislav Sikorsky government in London supported Goebbels's version and began to distribute it diligently, hoping that this would help regain power in Warsaw and spark a war between the USSR and its anti-Hitler coalition allies. Sikorsky supported the Germans' proposal to send to the Katyn region an "International Medical Commission" created by them under the auspices of the International Red Cross (IRC) with doctors selected by Germany, as well as experts from 13 allied countries and the German-occupied countries.
When his CRI commission reached Katyn, Goebbels demanded that his subordinates prepare everything, including a medical report tailored to the Nazis. Under pressure from the Nazis and so that events such as the terrible fate of Polish officers would not be repeated in the future, the agreement was signed by the majority of the members of the international commission.
Members of the commission, such as the doctor from the Department of Forensic Medicine at Sofia University, Marko Markov, and the Czech professor of forensic medicine, Frantisek Gajek, did not support Goebbels's version. The representatives of Vichy, France, Professor Castedo, and Spain, Professor Antonio Piga and Pascual, did not put their signature on the final document. After the war, all members of the international commission of forensic experts abandoned their conclusions in the spring of 1943.
The Polish Red Cross Technical Commission, which worked in Katyn in specially "prepared" places and under the control of the Germans, was unable to reach unequivocal conclusions about the causes of death of the Polish officers, although they discovered German cartridges used in the shooting of victims in the Katyn forest. Joseph Goebbels demanded to keep this a secret so that the Katyn case would not collapse.
A few weeks later, on July 4, 1943, General Sikorsky, his daughter Zofya, and the head of his cabinet, Brigadier General Tadeusz Klimecki, were killed in a plane crash near Gibraltar. Only the Czech pilot, Eduard Prchal, survived, who was unable to clearly explain why he put on a life jacket during this flight, when he generally did not.
The position of the "Western Allies" of the USSR in World War II on the Katyn issue began to change along with the deterioration of relations between Washington-London and Moscow, once the "cold war" began by the United States and its allies. The accusations against the USSR were continued by the American Madden commission in 1951-1952.Again, Victor@43, you make your point well, but perhaps we need to pay attention to what karlof1 is saying at the end of his post at 29:Patroklos , Jun 21 2020 0:39 utc | 47
"Instead, he sent a backhanded message to those managing the Outlaw US Empire about the fate they'll face if they continue on their path and exit the UN."
I'm not sure I understand the meaning of this (perhaps Karlof will elucidate when he has time) but I do note that the essay has a slightly different focus than b's first link as its title begins "The Real Lessons..."
So, what, we may ask, are those real lessons? Apparently the instances of Stalin's bad behavior are not such, or are not what we need to learn.
And further, what is the importance of the final paragraphs of the essay, which call for the Security Council leaders,(having agreed to do so) representing the nations which were allied successfully during WWII, to meet as soon as possible? Putin has given in his essay the example of the League of Nations, the failure of that body to prevent the second great war. I saw his final statement more as an urgent call for unity in present crisis than as a threat, but then I'm always a polyanna.And here I thought it was Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt who beat the Nazis on D-Day playing Call of Duty.Kay Fabe , Jun 21 2020 1:13 utc | 48Putin glosses over Stalins aggressions against Finland and his annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and parts of Romania (Bessarabia, northern Bukovina and the Hertza region), the latter in violation of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact , are overlookedYeah, Right , Jun 21 2020 1:43 utc | 49
He justifies Russia taking back land in Poland because he claimed that was theirs was but Hitler doing the same was not , and justified as a defensive measure against Germany while ignoring Poland was a threat to Germany , as they sought alliance with UK/US
Stalin had a very large and well equipped military and was resource rich unlike Germany.
Stalin began his buildup long before the war, perhaps anticipating Germanys military expansion, or perhaps he had designs on Europe himself. Remember one of FDR's first moves as President was recognizing Stalin and providing loans for trade in 1933
From Icebreaker (Suvorov)
In the early 1930s, American engineers traveled to the Soviet Union and built the Uralvagonzavod (the Ural Railroad Car Factory). Uralvagonzavod was built in such a manner that it could at any moment switch from producing railroad cars to producing tanks.
The most powerful aviation factory in the world was built in the Russian Far East. The city Komsomolsk-na-Amure was built in order to service this factory. Both the factory and the city were built according to American designs and furnished with the most modern American equipment.
Western technology was the main key to success. The Soviet Union became the world's biggest importer of machinery and equipment in the early 1930s, at a time when millions were starving due to his bloody war against peasants, which was called collectivization. The Soviet collectivization of 1932-1933 is estimated to have resulted in 3.5 to 5 million deaths from starvation, and another three to 4 million deaths as a result of intolerable conditions at the places of exile.
Cargo warplanes are used to deliver assault forces with parachutists to the enemy's rear. Soviet war-transport aviation used the American Douglas DC-3, which was considered to be the best cargo plane in the world at the start of World War II, as its primary cargo plane. In 1938, the U.S. government sold to Stalin the production license and the necessary amount of the most complex equipment for the DC-3's production. The Soviet Union also bought 20 DC-3s from the United States before the war.
In 1939, the Soviet Union produced six identical DC-3 aircraft; in 1940, it produced 51 DC-3 aircraft; and in 1941, it produced 237 DC-3 aircraft. During the entire war 2,419 DC-3s or equivalent planes were produced in Soviet factories.
In the years 1937-1941, the Soviet Army grew five-fold, from 1.1 million to 5.5 million. An additional 5.3 million people joined the ranks of the Red Army within one week of the beginning of the war. A minimum of 34.5 million people were used by the Red Army during the war. This huge increase in the size of the Soviet Army was accomplished primarily by ratification of the universal military draft in the Soviet Union on Sept. 1, 1939.
According to the new law, the draft age was reduced from 21 to 19, and in some categories to 18. This new law also allowed for the preparation of 18 million reservists, so that the Soviet Union continued to fill the ranks of the Red Army with many millions of soldiers as the war progressed.
The 9th Army appeared on the Romanian border on June 14, 1941, in the exact place where a year ago it had "liberated" Bessarabia. If the Soviet 9th Army had been allowed to attack Romania, Germany's main source of oil would have been lost and Germany would have been defeated. Hitler's attack of the Soviet Union prevented this from happening. The concentration of Soviet troops on Romanian borders presented a clear danger to Germany, and was a major reason for the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
Looking for blame one must not forget to look home. US finance and industrialists built up the Stalin and Hitler both with money, tech transfers, cartel agreements.
FDR pushed both the British and Poland into decisions which would lead to War.
When Germany tried to negotiate for Free Danzig , which was mostly German , Poland succumbed to US and British pressure/promises of aid, so they took a hardline and took measures to assume control over Free Danzig from the League of Nations. As a result Poles began to persecute ethnic Germans of which there were many , forcing some to flee Poland into Germany while those who wanted to protect their property stayed and faced the violence.Everyone in the West knows about the D-Day landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944.Antonym , Jun 21 2020 1:51 utc | 50
150,000 men on the first day, building up to 2 million men during the peak of Operation Overlord.
Nobody in the West knows about Operation Bagration in the Eastern front, launched two weeks after the D-Day landings.
Vastly bigger in every way, and it ended in the complete annihilation of Army Group Centre and the severe mauling of Army Group North and Army Group South.
Operation Bagration was much more important to the defeat of Germany than Operation Overlord.
Indeed, the Red Army would have succeeded even if the Normandy landings had not taken place, whereas it is very, very unlikely that Operation Overlord would have succeeded if it were not for the Germans being hamstrung by the carnage that was taking place in the East.Putin's own words in the center article of B: Stalin and his entourage, indeed, deserve many legitimate accusations. We remember the crimes committed by the regime against its own people and the horror of mass repressions. Lets keep that in mind and praise the USSR for defeating the Nazi regime, never Stalin.Antonym , Jun 21 2020 2:11 utc | 51
As for Churchill; he was a typical upper class imperialist most of his life but did save GB in the critical early years of the Battle for Britain with his moral boosters.
Hitler showed how powerful a force nationalism can be to unite a people but simultaneously demonstrated that by focusing on a country's Ego and not its Soul how wrong it can end up. His "National Sozialismus" fouled both notions in the West and lead many to embrace globalism and uncontrolled capitalism, of which we see the results today. He had Germany under his black magic speeches for just one decade, but these after effects had Europe twisted for many.Putin holds on to the existing choice of the 5 permanent UNSC veto holders, probably not to complicate matters now. The PRC was added in 1972 and the ROC (Taiwan) removed.Victor , Jun 21 2020 2:14 utc | 52
The next change should be the UK out, India in.H.Schmatz @ 45james , Jun 21 2020 2:19 utc | 53
There is a lot of cherry picking of history going on when it comes to who did what to whom in the lead up to WW2. All countries are a lot less innocent than they claim to be.
But I'm not sure why you are posting revisionist history about Katyn since the Russians already admitted that the Soviets were responsible for the crime.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/released-at-last-the-katyn-execution-order-signed-by-stalin-1957315.html@ victor... a lot of posters here are suspect of wikipedia, and any number of media outlets offering up their take on russia...bystander 04 , Jun 21 2020 4:05 utc | 54
unfortunately if i was to believe the independent.co.uk - i would believe all the lies and bulshit around skripal and for the record - i don't... a better source to back up your viewpoint is needed.. thanks..Schmatz@45 - as Victor at 52 says, there is no need to suspect anyone else for massacre in Katyn (and other places btw), Russians admitted it. If you wish to see the signatures, a book by Pavel Sudoplatov "Special Tasks" (available on Amazon) has a facsimile copy of the order signed by Beria, Stalin and 2 or 3 more - to liquidate the Polish POW´s...Oscar Peterson , Jun 21 2020 4:09 utc | 55@17 VictorMariátegui , Jun 21 2020 4:34 utc | 56
"No real errors in Putin's excellent essay, but some glossing over of certain major incidents, including the arrests, deportations and executions of thousands of Poles committed by the Soviets when they invaded Poland, the absorption of the Baltic countries, and the war with Finland. Unfortunately, omitting important details just gives ammunition to the many Putin haters to claim that this is just more Russian historical revisionism and propaganda."
I agree on the Baltic states. I think it's the one part of Putin's essay I'd take issue with.
He should have made the strategic case for why the USSR felt compelled to take control of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The Baltic coastline and approach to Leningrad were both very significant. Of course it's true that Russia lost control of all three for most of the war, but that doesn't change the strategic validity of Soviet policy in 1940.
The same thing goes for Soviet demands to control some coastal area and islands in Finland which led to the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-40.
Instead of making a strategic case, Putin tries to whitewash the Russian takeover by claiming "consent." That is a weak argument and the only real point of weakness I see in his essay.Victor @ 52
There is certainly enough amount of evidence to be suspicious of the Katyn events
Here is some
Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Christian J. Chuba , Jun 21 2020 14:18 utc | 78Re: the Nuremberg trials , I became fascinated by the writings of Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace' . This is when one country sets up an environment for war against another country. I'll grant you that this is vague but if this is applicable at all how is this not an accurate description of what we are doing against Iran and Venezuela?
In both cases, we are imposing a full trade embargo (not sanctions) on basic civilian necessities and infrastructures and threatening the use of military force. As for Iran, the sustained and unfair demonization of Iranians is preparing the U.S. public to accept a ruthless bombing campaign against them as long overdue. We are already attacking the civilian population of their allies in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.
How Ironic that the country that boasts that it won WW2 is now guilty of the very crimes that it condemned publicly in court.
Jun 21, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca
The Miracle of Salisbury. The Skripals Affair By Craig Murray Global Research, June 17, 2020 Craig Murray 16 June 2020 Region: Europe Theme: Intelligence , Law and Justice , Media Disinformation
It turns out that the BBC really does believe that God is an Englishman. When the simple impossibility of the official story on the Skripals finally overwhelmed the dramatists, they resorted to Divine Intervention for an explanation – as propagandists have done for millennia.
This particular piece of script from Episode 2 of The Salisbury Poisonings deserves an induction in the Propaganda Hall of Fame:
Porton Down Man: I've got the reports from the Bailey house
Public Health Woman: Tell me, how many hits?
Porton Down Man: It was found in almost every room of the house. Kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedrooms. It was even on the light switches. We found it in the family car too. But his wife and children haven't been affected. I like to think of myself as a man of science, but the only word for that is a miracle.
Well, it certainly would be a miracle that the family lived for a week in the house without touching a light switch. But miracle is not really the "only word for that". Nonsense is a good word. Bullshit is a ruder version. Lie is entirely appropriate in these circumstances.
Because that was not the only miracle on display. We were told specifically that the Skripals had trailed novichok all over Zizzis and the Bishops Mill pub, leaving multiple deadly deposits, dozens of them in total, which miraculously nobody had touched. We were told that Detective Bailey was found to have left multiple deadly deposits of novichok on everything he touched in a busy police station, but over several days before it was closed down nobody had touched any of them, which must be an even bigger miracle than the Baileys' home.
Perhaps even more amazingly, as the Skripals spread novichok all over the restaurant and the pub, nobody who served them had been harmed, nobody who took their payment. The man who went through Sergei's wallet to learn his identity from his credit cards was not poisoned. The people giving first aid were not poisoned. The ducks Sergei fed were not poisoned. The little boy he fed the ducks with was not poisoned. So many miracles. If God were not an Englishman, Salisbury would have been in real trouble, evidently.
The conclusion of episode two showed Charlie Rowley fishing out the perfume bottle from the charity bin at least two months in the timeline before this really happened, thus neatly sidestepping one of the most glaring impossibilities in the entire official story. I think we can forgive the BBC that lie – there are only so many instances of divine intervention in the story the public can be expected to buy in one episode.
It is fascinating to see that the construction of this edifice of lies was a joint venture between the BBC and the security services' house journal, the Guardian. Not only is all round pro-war propagandist "Colonel" Hamish De Bretton Gordon credited as Military Advisor, but Guardian journalists Caroline Bannock and Steven Morris are credited as Script Consultants, which I presume means they fed in the raw lies for the scriptwriters to shape into miracles.
Now here is an interesting ethical point for readers of the Guardian. The Guardian published in the last fortnight two articles by Morris and Bannock that purported to be reporting on the production of the drama and its authenticity, without revealing to the readers that these full time Guardian journalists were in fact a part of the BBC project. That is unethical and unprofessional in a number of quite startling ways. But then it is the Guardian.
[Full disclosure. I shared a flat with Caroline at university. She was an honest person in those days.]
Again, rather than pepper this article with links, I urge you to read this comprehensive article , which contains plenty of links and remains entirely unanswered.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.The original source of this article is Craig Murray
Jun 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Putin On World War II james , Jun 20 2020 17:16 utc | 1
Due to decades of Hollywood propaganda many people in "western" countries believe that the U.S. did the most to defeat the Nazis during World War II.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The President of Russia Vladimir Putin has taken the opportunity of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II to describe the build-up to the war, the diplomatic and military considerations Russia took into account during that time, and the results of the allies' victory.
His essay was published in multiple languages on the Website of the Kremlin:
75th Anniversary of the Great Victory: Shared Responsibility to History and our Future .
The English version is also published in the National Interest magazine:
Vladimir Putin: The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II .
The part with the Russian view of the behavior of various nation in the late 1930s is most interesting. But this passage, related to the graphic above, is also very relevant:The Soviet Union and the Red Army, no matter what anyone is trying to prove today, made the main and crucial contribution to the defeat of Nazism.
This is a report of February 1945 on reparation from Germany by the Allied Commission on Reparations headed by Ivan Maisky. The Commission's task was to define a formula according to which defeated Germany would have to pay for the damages sustained by the victor powers. The Commission concluded that "the number of soldier-days spent by Germany on the Soviet front is at least 10 times higher than on all other allied fronts. The Soviet front also had to handle four-fifths of German tanks and about two-thirds of German aircraft." On the whole, the USSR accounted for about 75 percent of all military efforts undertaken by the Anti-Hitler Coalition. During the war period, the Red Army "ground up" 626 divisions of the Axis states, of which 508 were German.
On April 28, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his address to the American nation: "These Russian forces have destroyed and are destroying more armed power of our enemies – troops, planes, tanks, and guns – than all the other United Nations put together." Winston Churchill in his message to Joseph Stalin of September 27, 1944, wrote that "it is the Russian army that tore the guts out of the German military machine "
Such an assessment has resonated throughout the world. Because these words are the great truth, which no one doubted then. Almost 27 million Soviet citizens lost their lives on the fronts, in German prisons, starved to death and were bombed, died in ghettos and furnaces of the Nazi death camps. The USSR lost one in seven of its citizens, the UK lost one in 127, and the USA lost one in 320.
As a German and former officer who has read quite a bit about the war I agree with the Russian view. It was the little acknowledged industrial power of the Soviet Union and the remarkable dedication of the Red Army soldiers that defeated the German Wehrmacht.
At the end of his essay Putin defends the veto power of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. In his view it has prevented that another clash on a global scale has happened since World War II ended. Putin rejects attempts to abolish that system.
I have found no major flaw with the historic facts in the essay and recommend to read it in full.Posted by b at 17:07 UTC | Comments (22) thanks for highlighting this b.... the graph at the top is very telling of how many people remain fairly ignorant of the reality on the ground.. putins speech and text are well worth the read... s and karlof1 posted a link on the open thread and some of us were talking about it their.... i found putins comments on the UN especially interesting...
I wonder if the brainwashing going on in the usa about how bad the UN is, is another example of americans being dumbed right down into believing the UN is useless? that is what it looks like to me... some of us aren't buying that and i am glad to see putin make some comments on that as well... thanks for highlighting this.. revisionist history seems to be a speciality of some..
james , Jun 20 2020 17:16 utc | 1Babyl-on , Jun 20 2020 17:25 utc | 2When I read here and in the article the quotes from Churchill and the "west" praising Russia's conduct of the war against fascism I can't help but translate them into praise for Hitler should he have won. British and US oligarchs were funding and supporting Hitler all along, which is well documented. For the oligarchy it made little difference who won.vk , Jun 20 2020 17:27 utc | 3
The strategy of the imperial oligarchy was to let all its potential competitors deplete their resources then move in with its full power when the outcome had already been determined and pray on their weakness. It worked as we see in the global imperial power of the Western oligarchy as engineered by Roosevelt after the war which has ruled now for 75 years.What Putin wrote already was common sense among historians, but it is good to see it becoming more mainstream.Prof K , Jun 20 2020 17:29 utc | 4
My theory about the USA trying to get the credit for defeating the Third Reich - even though it has the victory against Japan (an empire that made the Third Reich look like Human Rights lovers) - comes from the fact that the European Peninsula became the major theater of the Cold War. The USA had then to create a narrative that could justify its supremacy over Western Europe, and its attempts to "liberate" Eastern Europe.
Yes, the Korean War happened in the early 1950s, but Japan was secured, Soviet access to warm water port in Asia was thus blocked and, after the Mao-Nixon pact of 1972, China (and thus North Korea) was out of the Soviet sphere. That made the European Peninsula even more important. Indeed, the threat of invading and occupying West Berlin was one of the greatest leverages the Soviets had and used against the USA during the whole Cold War. This leverage became even more pronounced after the Soviets successfully crushed the Hungarian counter-revolution of 1956, which sobered up the CIA and the hampered the USG's ambitions on absorbing Eastern Europe by propaganda and subversion warfare.Putin's main arguments are fully in accord with British historian, Richard Overy's very important book, Russia's War.Dirk , Jun 20 2020 17:37 utc | 6The most baffling news to me recently was when I found out that Poland invaded the CSSR together with Hitler and occupied a part of the Czech Republic in March 1939 - and I went through several decades of WW2 "education" just as everyone. Not even Wikipedia mentions the Polish contribution to the invasion and occupation of the CSSR, which is very telling.Joshua , Jun 20 2020 17:40 utc | 7
It sheds an entirely new light on the entire development right before WW2, in which Hitler went all-in to give Poland something for the future return of Danzig. Poland took it, but didn't realize that it was part of a deal, so Hitler activated Plan B. The process was certainly aggressive and kicked the Czechs interests as a people/nation, but the overall plan (I guess developed by Ribbentrop) makes a lot of sense. It is by far not irrational as it is usually portrayed.
I guess, I am now a "revisionist".I read the article when it was posted (in full) on Southfront.bevin , Jun 20 2020 17:41 utc | 8
It is excellent. Detailed, accurate, insightful, as well as well composed and written.
I recommend that everyone who is able to do so read this article in its entirety.
I also fully agree with the position of Mr. Putin, as stated in his writing.You are quite correct. All historians know that the role of the Soviet Union in the war was decisive. When I was a child, growing up in British military circles, nobody troubled to deny it, while the role of the United States was generally regarded as very minor.vk , Jun 20 2020 17:48 utc | 9
I recall, passing through the Suez Canal on a troopship bound for Malaya, the immense enthusiasm and loud cheering of the British troops for the crew of a Soviet destroyer, parading on deck while at anchor in the sweetwater lake. It drove the senior officers mad but the troops, mostly young working class conscripts, understood that the Red Army had saved millions of British lives.
As b says, however, by far the most interesting part of Putin's summary is that outlining the facts of the gyrating foreign policies of the United Kingdom in the 1930s.
Again most of what Putin relates is well known to honest historians. It used to be well known-thanks largely to the work of the Left- that the well understood strategy of the Tories, and most of the US business class, was to support a German invasion of the Soviet Union. Which is why the Nazi economy rested so heavily on US capital- it was expected to pay political as well as financial dividends by erasing the Communist threat (and, by implication that of socialism too).
I saw not a single error in Putin's history. It coincides precisely with the analysis I learned, as a young socialist, from German emigres. One of them, Hans Hess, who was a long time director of an Art Gallery in the north of England, told us that he, at the time in Paris, had greeted the news of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with relief. He understood that it meant that the policy of appeasement had failed, and that the Soviet Union would survive and prevail.
It needs to be understood that, before the US Cold War, based on the support it got from the isolationist, ultra right wing Republicans who had never really warmed to the World War, the view that Putin gives was widely shared by all 'patriotic' (anti collaborationist) political currents in western Europe. The contempt with which Baldwin, Chamberlain and their ilk were regarded in the UK used to be enormous- they were held to be little short of traitors. Seventy years later they and their US equivalents, the Vichy supporters in France and Nazi collaborators from all over Europe (including Mussolini's political heirs) dominate European politics.
It is a badge of honour for Russians to be hated by these scum.@ Posted by: Dirk | Jun 20 2020 17:37 utc | 6JCC , Jun 20 2020 17:57 utc | 10
Yeah, Wikipedia is close to useless for WWII. Too much propaganda.The Soviet Union put together a 20 part documentary, The Unknown War, with the assistance of the U.S in 1978 to tell their part of the story. Mandatory watching for any history buffs, or those who want to expand their horizons. An incredible 30 hours of footage from the Soviet perspective. Narrated by Burt Lancaster.oldhippie , Jun 20 2020 18:39 utc | 11
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI3rqO42lVcWhen I was a history student, undergrad and grad, at University of Illinois in 1970s, students of European history were taught exactly Putin's view. Students of American history were taught the Hollywood view. The American side of the History department viewed the entire faculty and student body on the European side as a pack of disloyal Communists. The European side saw the American side as exactly what they were - schoolteachers and future schoolteachers. Most of my old profs were glad to get out. Any profs known since retired early as precisely this issue made the job impossible. Of course at U of I there was and remains a large contingent of Eastern European descendants of Nazi collaborators who are very vocal and completely immune to criticism. A protected class. Open display of Nazi regalia, memorabilia, salutes, songs were always 100% approved because these are after all the victims of Soviet oppression.Constantine , Jun 20 2020 19:50 utc | 19Posted by: Babyl-on | Jun 20 2020 17:25 utc | 2Ike , Jun 20 2020 20:17 utc | 20
While it is true that numerous folks among the Anglo-American elites would be okay with a German victory (particularly if it didn't involve the trashing of their own imperial regimes), Churchill wasn't one of them. For all his odious aspects, this was a defining characteristic of his as a British nationalist: he wouldn't countenance any compromise with the Axis. In fact, it is safe to say that he played a very important role in keeping Britain in the war and not making any sort of peace with Germany after the fall of France.
On the other hand, it is an absolute truth that Hitler and Mussolini were highly respected among western capitalists who supported the military reinvigoration of the Third Reich. Mussolini was treated with more favour, but Hitler was also seen positively, not least for his racialist and racist views which coincided with those of the official Anglo-sphere.It is interesting to see in Putin's essay confirmation that the roots of WW11 were the greedy and inhumane attitudes of France and The UK to German reparations for WWI. Today we have The UK France and the USA losing the war in Syria and now imposing sanctions on the Syrian people. In Libya they have created chaos and the same bunch of war criminals do f--- all to assist the country. I have read elsewhere that Churchill could have stopped WWII much earlier and saved many lives' including the thousands killed in the Dresden firebombing, but wanted a complete surrender from Germany rather than a conditional one and that the Japanese were ready to surrender before the atomic bombs were dropped as the Soviet Army was poised to invade Japan after cleaning up China. The USA needed a quick resolution and an extravagant display of power to establish its global supremacy however so dropped the bombs anyway killing hundreds of thousands of civilians.juliania , Jun 20 2020 20:18 utc | 21
All facts that are glossed over by most western publications.
It is disturbing that no Western leaders are attending the 75th anniversary celebrations of the end of WWII in Moscow.
I am very grateful that at least one of the current super-powers is led by the humane, diplomatic, non-empire building Vladimir Putin.Victor@17, you cannot be blamed for wanting to add to the essay important details, but I don't think the charge of revisionism is warranted. In the essay, Putin says this:lgfocus , Jun 20 2020 20:51 utc | 22"...Stalin and his entourage, indeed, deserve many legitimate accusations. We remember the crimes committed by the regime against its own people and the horror of mass repressions. In other words, there are many things the Soviet leaders can be reproached for, but poor understanding of the nature of external threats is not one of them..."
That's a pretty strong statement. Putin is making clear his essay focuses on misrepresented aspects of Russia's involvement in the war. This is not a blanket endorsement of all that took place, but a template for careful study of events and increased understanding as documents pertaining to them become available.
Thanks for your input.As an American student with a class in "Soviet History" in the 1960's during the Cold War, what President Putin said about the War is what I was taught at the time.
I don't know when things changed. Probably just Americans lack of knowledge of history and belief in their exceptionalism.
Jun 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Cyndy Tyler L RNY • 8 hours agoThe USG' s definition of Dictator.
DICTATOR, Noun: Someone who does not let American CEOs dictate how their country is run
Jun 16, 2020 | carnegieendowment.org
... There are no signs that the [USA-Russia] relationship will improve in the near future.
Jun 15, 2020 | carnegieendowment.org
... There are no signs that the relationship will improve in the near future.
The U.S. foreign policy community views Russia as a hostile actor, and this view is likely to prevail for the foreseeable future. U.S. policymakers resent Russia's global activism and are increasingly concerned about its partnership with China. Likewise, Moscow's foreign policy community sees the United States as an aggressive, unilateral, hostile actor and a threat to Russia's domestic stability and claim to a prominent position on the world stage
... Over the next decade, the accumulated grievances on both sides; profound differences in interests, values, and conceptions of global order; and domestic political conditions all but rule out any notions of a sustainable partnership, a reset, or a significant improvement in U.S.-Russian ties. In other words, the two countries will remain strategic competitors. How long they maintain this largely adversarial relationship -- and how U.S.-Russian relations will evolve over the next decade -- will depend primarily on global geopolitical trends and on domestic factors in each country that will influence their foreign policy priorities.
... If Trump is reelected, he will continue to eschew multilateralism and U.S. alliance relationships in favor of bilateral transactional diplomacy in the service of his more unilateral, nationalist America First agenda. If former vice president Joe Biden is elected, it is likely that, rhetorical deference toward a renewed liberal order notwithstanding, domestic and external constraints on U.S. power will limit the scope of American ambitions and appetite for transformational solutions to pressing international challenges. It will also take some time for a Biden administration to repair the damage to America's credibility and reputation caused by its predecessor. Washington will continue to struggle to forge a domestic consensus to commit major resources for ambitious foreign policy undertakings. Further, as poll after poll has shown, the majority of the American public, weary of foreign commitments, wants its leaders to focus more on domestic challenges that have a significant negative impact on the quality of life of many Americans. 3 This will be especially true in an era that could be marked by the threat of more pandemics and the need to deal with the economic, political, and social problems they will engender.
As a consequence of these factors, the next few years and beyond will likely see the United States playing a less active and influential role in global affairs, though to what degree will depend in part on who is president. America's unipolar moment has passed; U.S. alliances are badly frayed; and the international system has been transitioning to a much more complicated, uncertain, and confusing global order, in which other global and major regional powers are rebalancing. The established Cold War–era and post–Cold War concepts of U.S. leadership, exceptionalism, and indispensability have yet to fully adjust to these new realities. The U.S.-Russian relationship is likely to remain contentious because Washington will continue to view Moscow's defense of what it sees as its legitimate interests -- and Russian activism more generally -- as evidence that Russia remains hostile to U.S. leadership of the rules-based international order; to U.S.-fashioned solutions to global problems; and to the United States' enduring commitment to national sovereignty, independence, and adherence to democratic norms.
... The third trigger would be the emergence, after Putin leaves the scene, of a more reckless or less skillful leader, resulting in a more precarious and dangerous relationship.
... A more sober acknowledgment of Russian leaders' anxiety about their own political staying power, as well as Moscow's enduring interests in these neighboring countries, combined with less ambitious U.S. rhetoric and greater openness to dialogue with Russia -- none of which was evident during the 2013–2014 Ukraine crisis -- could lead to a better outcome for all concerned.
... Resuming a productive U.S.-Russian strategic dialogue will be difficult
... Avoiding a conflict between the United States and Russia, and especially nuclear war, should be the paramount U.S. priority in the bilateral relationship. Arguably, there is a much greater risk of an inadvertent war between the two countries arising from an accident or miscalculations and miscommunications -- for example, a military reaction to a false warning of attack -- than from a premeditated attack.
... In East Asia, Washington has witnessed the steady growth of the Russian-Chinese partnership. A number of U.S. policies have driven the two countries closer together, including American military interventions in Kosovo, Iraq, and Libya, which both countries viewed as regime change, democracy promotion, and support for color revolutions. Presently, Russia is helping China augment its power by providing advanced weapons and military technology and diplomatic support for China's positions on North Korea and the South China Sea. By signing on to an asymmetric partnership with Beijing, Moscow is adjusting to the reality of the continued accumulation of Chinese power in Asia. Russia is poised to become increasingly dependent on China as a source of technology and investments. At a minimum, Washington should avoid policies that drive the two countries closer together in ways that are counterproductive to U.S. interests.
... the economies of the two countries are not complementary, and indeed there is competition in exports for oil, gas, agricultural products, and arms. As long as this situation persists, it will be extremely difficult to expand U.S.-Russian trade; cooperation on joint economic ventures involving technology, energy, and space; and American foreign direct investment in Russia.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.unz.com
Malla , says: June 16, 2020 at 2:18 pm GMT
Ironically, if any of the right-wing figures of whom Soros is a favorite target were aware of his instrumental role in the fall of communism staging the various CIA-backed protest movements in Eastern Europe that toppled socialist governments, he would likely not be such a subject of their derision.
Yeah, those Warsaw Pact regimes had to fall so that the populations of Eastern Europe (and maybe Mongolia & Central Asia) could be exposed to the much more poisonous Cultural Marxist "culture" from the West. It would be hard to have a FEMEN in the USSR of the 80s.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.unz.com
Stogumber , says: Show Comment June 13, 2020 at 12:40 pm GMTCook here represents a tradition of progressive pseudo-democracy which contradicts liberal democracy.
In progressive pseudo-democracy, men "at the side of history" have a privilege in destroying other people's values.
In liberal democracy, the defenders of the old system are recognized as a legitimate opposition with the possibility of becoming the government again. so there are no privileges for "men at the side of history". Of course there can be changes who are, in hindsight, consensually accepted by both sides. Nearly nobody sees a reason to reestablish slavery – but the acceptance of a gollywog or the acceptance of a statue is not slavery, not even similar to it. The "pain" of people who conflate these matters is self-inflicted.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.unz.com
schnellandine , says: Show Comment June 13, 2020 at 3:16 am GMTAny article discussing 'democracy' without defining it is the work of a hack.Beavertales , says: Show Comment June 12, 2020 at 9:12 pm GMT
Oh yes, it's supposed that everyone knows 'democracy'. He doesn't. It's a bullshit word meant to gloss around the writer's refusal to reason by way of first principles. It's cowardice.
We are all supposed to accept as the major premise that democracy's good, and thus desirable. Ergo, if the writer can somehow tie his conclusion to 'democratic' roots, he's carried the day.
Shameless fraud. Thousands of words of spittle.
Interesting truth: No form of the word 'democracy' is found in the US Declaration of Independence or Constitution. To the contrary, democracy is forbidden by Constitution Article IV Section 4.The Holocaust memorial museum in Washington should be stormed by Americans outraged by Israel's theft of US resources and its corruption of US politics, and for Israel's attack on the USS Liberty.
This may or may not include the defenestration of the directors, the casting of exhibits into the street, and the bulldozing of the entire structure into a landfill.
Yes, more democratic tradition, please, until justice is done and seen to be done.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Jun 15 2020 23:35 utc | 66Very interesting article by Vladimir Odintsov:
Vestiges of the American Dream
It brings this very curious information that I wasn't aware of:On May 15, the US Department of the Treasury released Treasury International Capital (TIC) data for March 2020. It showed that total foreign ownership of Treasuries dropped by $256.6 billion to $6.81 trillion.
I already knew there was a race to the Renminbi since China recovered from the first wave of the pandemic (it is mentioned in at least two op-pieces in the Asia Times), but I didn't know there was a correspondent race from the USD. Let's remember: in 2008, there was a race to the USD; the USD became stronger than ever with that crisis, and America's dominance in the financial sector strengthened, not weakened.
Now it may be different. The USD is getting weaker, not stronger. Faith in the USA is weaning.
Also there's this nice little piece, very poetic, whose only value is in the fact that it was written by an American who loves his country and served in the Army:
America Without the Sugar Coating: Wishing Ill Will On Our World
@ Posted by: juliania | Jun 15 2020 22:55 utc | 61
What will become of "Putin's Russia" is a very interesting topic.
Pepe Escobar's interview with Karaganov made it look like Russia's plan is to serve as some kind of leader of the "non-aligned" countries in a future China-USA bipolar world order. I found it too vague, could mean anything.
However, there's another, much more interesting, phenomenon: the rise of some right-wing intellectuals from Russia and the USA who are trying to revive what we call nowadays as "paleoconservatism". They are the Martyanovs, Dugins, Korybkos the guys who write for Unz and The Saker, the Russia Insider team around there.
Those "new paleoconservatives" differentiate themselves in the sense that they really try very hard to be intellectuals -- that is, they do not adopt the irrational methodology of the typical far-right/neofacism, they abhor the neocons/neoliberals, they abhor the so-called "woke left/cultural marxists/pluralists/SJWs" (which they frequently associate, if not equate, to the neoliberals), they believe in some kind of a concept of race or racially determined culture based on geography and climate, they certainly abhor scientific socialism (some of them even, under absurd and extremely dumbed down arguments, directly stating Marx's theory was wrong) but they also abhor Nazism - albeit for reasons that are not, let's say, "orthodox". They are also against imperialism as the USA is practicing right now, but not against "self-defense" imperialism, that is, the line is blurry.
But the most important factor that unites this group is their blind faith in Christianism. They somehow believe that if you fuse capitalism (which, for many of them is not even a system, but human nature itself) with Christian values (it doesn't need to be Christian religion per se, you don't need to be a practicing Christian), you somehow get the perfect mix between man's animal side (capitalism) and spiritual side (Christianism). It's like your traditional post-war social-democracy, with the difference that they put Christianism in socialism's place. As a result, you go back to the good ol' times, more or less in the 1950s, where everything was, allegedly, "in their place".
This obsession with Christianism makes me, jokingly, to call this coterie as the "Neobyzantines" - a bizarre postmodern chimera born from the degeneration of late stage capitalism.
But this is the boring part. The cool part about the Neobyzantines is the fact that they have a geopolitical policy. What's this policy? You guessed it right: they want a Christian confederation composed of the entire Northern Atlantic (NATO countries)... plus Russia. This, the Neobyzantines say, will save Christianism (and the correspondent white race) from subjugation and hegemony of the socialist Yellows (some of them also have a racial-based theory about why socialism/communism naturally occurs in East Asia; for some of them, South Korea and Japan are even communist themselves already).
We know Putin was raised as a Neobyzantine. He's an Ocidentalist that believed in the concept of an European civilization. That's why, in my opinion, he plays such a good sport with the Orthodox Church, as it is a living fossil of the times of Peter the Great etc. etc. However, as time passed, he became increasingly disillusioned with the USA and the EU, and the ties were definitely broken with the invasion and partition of the Ukraine in 2014. His policies, therefore, clearly became more Eurasianist, but that certainly was the result of necessity, not free will.
Is Putin may be converting himself to "Neobyzantism"? Will Neobyzantism really become a thing, or will it just be thrown to the dustbin of History, as was many other ideologies of the past of which only a Historian knows nowadays?
ptb , Jun 16 2020 1:28 utc | 78@vk 66Richard Steven Hack , Jun 16 2020 1:53 utc | 80
re: neo-Byzanyines. Clever. And there may be something to that idea. Certainly the general flavor of Christian conservatism you describe holds some real currency among the national security types. However, despite ideological commonality across borders, I think it is clearly nationalist and not internationalist.
The more theatrical "paleo" versions stand out, if only for being one of the few cohesive alternatives to neoliberalism (socialism and socdem being sadly moribund). But if you dial down the drama and take away the contrarian personalities, then pan-nationalist Christian conservatism (and for that matter, the Islamic or Hindu analogs) can be integrated into neoliberalism too. I don't see why not.
Considering the post-millennial generations may well end up in a Byzantium of some kind in some decades, this is worth following up on.Posted by: vk | Jun 15 2020 23:35 utc | 66 Will Neobyzantism really become a thing, or will it just be thrown to the dustbin of History, as was many other ideologies of the past of which only a Historian knows nowadays?vk , Jun 16 2020 2:26 utc | 83
I've noticed that trend as well - the rise of the Russian Orthodox Church and the rise of conservatism in Russia. I see it reflected in the attitudes on the Crosstalk show that I used to watch regularly.
I agree that trying to resurrect Christianity is a major error. It will just lead to even greater anti-intellectualism and irrational belief systems, and possibly even eventually into a "theocracy" - hardly conducive to freedom. As a rabid atheist myself, I despise all of this.@ Posted by: ptb | Jun 16 2020 1:28 utc | 78ptb , Jun 16 2020 3:15 utc | 86
I think that, if we take it from your approach, the problem with the neobyzantines is more related to the fact that they can't accept being juniors to the "yellows" (i.e. a non-white, non-Christian people) than with Chinese-style socialism. They are like the reverse Chicoms in this sense (and, if that's indeed the case, they are very different than the American Bannonist far-right).
The Bannonists (I think Bannon himself coin his ideology as "Neopopulism" or something like that) believe in the reverse case: it is good that the Chinese are to hegemonize the world in the 21st Century - as long as they do so in a capitalist form, not in a socialist one, that is, without the CCP at the helm.
Indeed, neoliberalism is very malleable, and for one very simple reason: it is not an ideology per se, but a doctrine. Doctrines are not as much incisive as ideologies, but they have the advantage of being very adaptable and quickly digestible. For example: who, at the beginning of the 1970s, would think that - of all places - neoliberalism would find its most fertile ground in Latin America? Theoretically, Latin America should be the anti-neoliberalism area of the world par excellence, as it was the subcontinent that suffered the most (except, maybe, Africa - but Africa was razed to the ground, there's no material there to any doctrine or ideology to sprout) under the hands of American neocolonialism. But here we are: the lack of a strong revolutionary movement in Latin America gave birth to a strong inferiority complex, which created a political vacuum in which neoliberalism fitted perfectly (Mexico, then Ménem's "Peripheral Realism", then FHC's "we must be the last of the top" in Brazil).
Neoliberalism's success story in Latin America is a warning example for historians to never stick to a sociological formula either for trying to explain History or to try to predict History. There's always the human factor, that "x" factor that only good old method of studying History can decipher.
@ Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 16 2020 1:53 utc | 80
I use the term "Neobyzantine" as some kind of pejorative joke (my humor is very dark). I don't think those who I would classify as "neobyzantine" feed any illusions about the real Byzantine Empire - which, as a Christian Empire, was an absolute farce: it was plagued with schisms after schism inside Christianism that castigated them with endless drama, exiles, executions, dead emperors and civil wars. No Byzantine citizen ever believed Christianity would rise someday to become a world religion: it was under the hands of the Western European medieval lords and their descendants that it became so (conquests of America, Africa, Oceania and SE Asia).
It is a myth Christianism ever brought unity to the Roman Empire, but it may be true that the early Christian emperors (from Constantine the Great onward) thought it would. If Constantine and his successors really thought that, then they were to be proven completely wrong - as today's schism between Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox are to serve as living evidence.@vk 83vk , Jun 16 2020 4:02 utc | 90
I think that, if we take it from your approach, the problem with the neobyzantines is more related to the fact that they can't accept being juniors to the "yellows"
Well, not sure how that fits into the byzantine analogy, but I do think it is a central unifying theme of conservatives in the west who are taking an anti-neoliberal position.
I think the position toward capitalism is something between nuanced and contradictory, or at least very heterogenous. There is plenty of awareness of its ills of a state captive to private $ and corps. Yet the ideal of free enterprise is celebrated without reservation, with a real hope for markets that could in theory become non dysfunctional. So no, IMO anti-neoliberal conservatives in the US are not socialist in the slightest (except the military has universal health and education). Basically very sympathetic to the "libertarian" side of it. But that may be unique to the US vs the rest of the "west". I mean this is all stereotyping very much, everyone has their own emphasis. Also the economic idea are maybe not so important to the byzantium / historical analogy, we might happen to prioritize them higher ourselves.
Where does the Chinese socialism fit in? That is contradictory too. One has to make a judgment of capitalism with Chinese characteristics, and also Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Neither of those is a direct translation of the European versions of them. You also have a strong and intimate state power, which the nationalists might actually be jealous of but I find off-putting. I do think the commonality there, for the would-be neobyzantines is, again, simple national power.
Kindof like Bannonites, except he represents just one version of this. Specifically, his version of a conservative anti-neoliberal position is especially uninteresting IMO. And I dont take most of what he says at face value anyhow. Just a particularly unattractive nationalist IMO... Finally, I don't think he would make a good byzantine, but maybe I am romanticizing the idea in my head a little.@ Posted by: ptb | Jun 16 2020 3:15 utc | 86King Lear , Jun 16 2020 4:08 utc | 91
Yes, I agree: the Bannonites are certainly not Neobyzantines. They are more like the traditional fascists: radical in form, conservative in essence. They are like agents of chaos - a domesticated chaos, of course.
The unifying factor of the Neobyzantines, in my opinion, is the fact that they believe a universalized (forced upon the masses) Christian moral code can save capitalism. In their opinion, it is greed by the rich and the depravity of the leftists that is the problem.
They believe that the end of the USSR and the slow rise of China (plus, I guess, the failure of the West in Christianizing the Middle East and Asia) put an end or proved wrong the existence of economic systems. In this sense, they lowkey agree with Fukuyama in essence, albeit kot in form. This would also make the Neobyzantines part of the Postmodern constellation of ideologies, which preach absolute relativism.
@ Posted by: A User | Jun 16 2020 3:36 utc | 87
Yes, if you think about it, the American Revolution was a petite-bourgoeis revolution: it was just a bunch of small planters not wanting to pay taxes.
Thomas Jefferson certainly didn't imagine he was building the world's future sole superpower. None of the founding fathers imagined that.
However, the American Revolution was important in the sense it was the first European colony to achieve independency without consent of it metropolis. It showed the other colonies it was possible. We know the American case would never be replicated, but it inspired the colonised a world without metropoleis was possible, and opened way for the end of the old colonial system in 1945.Vk #66
I don't understand your ridiculous concern that their will be some grand alliance of the "White Christian" world (the U$, Russia, and the NATO/EU puppets) along with some assorted Non-White, Non-Christian, countries (India, Japan, South Korea, etc.), against "Yellow Socialist China". In reality the only "Prominent" person who has entertained this anachronistic lunacy is the wannabe fascist Drunkard known as Steve Bannon, who has no real impact on anything beyond grifting illiterate Trump supporters (The last I heard of him, he was drunkenly proclaiming the creation of a "New Federal State of China's" with some former Chinese "Communist" billionaire on a dingy boat in New York Harbor, LMAO". In reality most of the "Neobyzantine" fools you mentioned in both the U$ and Russia, are big advocates of the phony idea that China is a "rising", "Socialist", superpower that is an alternative to the Unipolar, U$-led, world order, as evidenced that the "Unz Review" and "The Saker" are filled with articles by Pro-China hacks such as Pepe Escobar. Personally, I view the "Neobyzantines" as a bunch of hacks and grifters who in Russia seek to brainwash the population into believing that the USSR was an evil "Judeo-Bolshevik" abomination while Putin's Russia is an "Orthodox Christian" paradise and rising Superpower, that is In alliance with the "good Socialist" China, in a "New Cold War" with the U$, all while covering up the fact that Putin's Russia is a utter joke compared to the USSR, due to its population wallowing in poverty and degeneracy (so much for those Orthodox values,
LOL), and it losing half its territory and all its Geopolitical alliances and ideological support (due to its rejection of Marxism-Leninism). In the U$, these quacks appeal to a very narrow group of disenfranchised U$ right-wingers who seem to believe that Russia and China represent some Conservative utopia, LOL. In conclusion, these people are much less significant then you make them out to be and just serve as mere propagandists for the phony New Cold War" of the U$ vs. Russia and China which like I said in my previous post is Fake wrestling to confuse and distract the populations of all three countries as they are oppressed by the same Neoliberal policies that all three governments implement.
Jul 05, 2014 | www.nytimes.com
WASHINGTON -- AFTER nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the neoconservative movement is back, using the turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine to claim that it is President Obama, not the movement's interventionist foreign policy that dominated early George W. Bush-era Washington, that bears responsibility for the current round of global crises.
Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver's seat of American foreign policy.
To be sure, the careers and reputations of the older generation of neocons -- Paul D. Wolfowitz, L. Paul Bremer III, Douglas J. Feith, Richard N. Perle -- are permanently buried in the sands of Iraq. And not all of them are eager to switch parties: In April, William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, said that as president Mrs. Clinton would "be a dutiful chaperone of further American decline."
But others appear to envisage a different direction -- one that might allow them to restore the neocon brand, at a time when their erstwhile home in the Republican Party is turning away from its traditional interventionist foreign policy.
It's not as outlandish as it may sound. Consider the historian Robert Kagan, the author of a recent, roundly praised article in The New Republic that amounted to a neo-neocon manifesto. He has not only avoided the vitriolic tone that has afflicted some of his intellectual brethren but also co-founded an influential bipartisan advisory group during Mrs. Clinton's time at the State Department.
Mr. Kagan has also been careful to avoid landing at standard-issue neocon think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute; instead, he's a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, that citadel of liberalism headed by Strobe Talbott, who was deputy secretary of state under President Bill Clinton and is considered a strong candidate to become secretary of state in a new Democratic administration. (Mr. Talbott called the Kagan article "magisterial," in what amounts to a public baptism into the liberal establishment.)
Perhaps most significantly, Mr. Kagan and others have insisted on maintaining the link between modern neoconservatism and its roots in muscular Cold War liberalism. Among other things, he has frequently praised Harry S. Truman's secretary of state, Dean Acheson, drawing a line from him straight to the neocons' favorite president: "It was not Eisenhower or Kennedy or Nixon but Reagan whose policies most resembled those of Acheson and Truman."
Other neocons have followed Mr. Kagan's careful centrism and respect for Mrs. Clinton. Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted in The New Republic this year that "it is clear that in administration councils she was a principled voice for a strong stand on controversial issues, whether supporting the Afghan surge or the intervention in Libya."
And the thing is, these neocons have a point. Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy.
It's easy to imagine Mrs. Clinton's making room for the neocons in her administration. No one could charge her with being weak on national security with the likes of Robert Kagan on board.
Of course, the neocons' latest change in tack is not just about intellectual affinity. Their longtime home, the Republican Party, where presidents and candidates from Reagan to Senator John McCain of Arizona supported large militaries and aggressive foreign policies, may well nominate for president Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has been beating an ever louder drum against American involvement abroad.
In response, Mark Salter, a former chief of staff to Senator McCain and a neocon fellow traveler, said that in the event of a Paul nomination, "Republican voters seriously concerned with national security would have no responsible recourse" but to support Mrs. Clinton for the presidency.
Still, Democratic liberal hawks, let alone the left, would have to swallow hard to accept any neocon conversion. Mrs. Clinton herself is already under fire for her foreign-policy views -- the journalist Glenn Greenwald, among others, has condemned her as "like a neocon, practically." And humanitarian interventionists like Samantha Power, the ambassador to the United Nations, who opposed the second Iraq war, recoil at the militaristic unilateralism of the neocons and their inveterate hostility to international institutions like the World Court.
But others in Mrs. Clinton's orbit, like Michael A. McFaul, the former ambassador to Russia and now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a neocon haven at Stanford, are much more in line with thinkers like Mr. Kagan and Mr. Boot, especially when it comes to issues like promoting democracy and opposing Iran.
Far from ending, then, the neocon odyssey is about to continue. In 1972, Robert L. Bartley, the editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal and a man who championed the early neocon stalwarts, shrewdly diagnosed the movement as representing "something of a swing group between the two major parties." Despite the partisan battles of the early 2000s, it is remarkable how very little has changed.
Jun 14, 2020 | networks.h-net.org
"Russians," says Stent, "have at best been reluctant Europeans" (45). They need and admire Western technology but managed to miss the Reformation, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment, and never developed a middle class and a democracy. Putin himself is a "wary European," who fails "to understand that Europe's successful modernization was a product of both a free market economy and a democratic political system based on the rule of law." More appealing to him is China's model of "authoritarian modernization" (52).
Moreover, he is suspicious of the expansion of the European Union, its Eastern Partnership Initiative (EPI, 2009), and its overtures for former Soviet states to join the EPI or EU. Disputes over the signing of such an Association Agreement with Ukraine in 2013 exploded into the Maidan movement, the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the war in eastern Ukraine, and economic sanctions against Russia. China soon replaced Europe as Russia's largest trading partner. Instead of President Mikhail Gorbachev's dream of a 'common European home,' Russia has become the major opponent of European unity, a promoter of Brexit, and an ally of the anti-liberal axis of 'take-our-country-back' right-wing populist and neo-authoritarian European parties and governments. Putin is indiscriminate about cultivating allies and has established friendly relations with a rogues' gallery of strongmen and authoritarian politicians that includes among others Marine Le Pen, Victor Orban, Silvio Berlusconi, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Bashar al-Assad, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohammad bin Salman, Narendra Modi, and Donald J. Trump. But at the same time he has worked to establish ties with moderate and centrist leaders like Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel.
As scholar and practitioner, Angela Stent is at her best when elaborating the specificities of Russian dealings with friends and foes. Her chapter on NATO expansion -- "The 'Main Opponent'" (Putin's words) -- is a judicious and critical review of policies that redivided Europe and propelled Russia through the logic of a security dilemma to re-engage in offensive strategies from rearmament to hybrid warfare. Yet while acknowledging that Russia has genuine security concerns about NATO's moves eastward, she reverts to the notion that Russian ideological constants are key to the conflict between East and West.
Russia has not, over the past quarter century, been willing to accept the rules of the international order that the West hoped it would. Those included acknowledging the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the post-Soviet states and supporting a liberal world order that respects the right to self-determination. Russia continues to view the drivers of international politics largely through a nineteenth-century prism. Spheres of influence are more important than the individual rights and sovereignty of smaller co